Joseph Mallord William Turner

?Stonework at the East End of Westminster Abbey

c.1834–6

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 101 × 79 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D27766
Turner Bequest CCLXXXI 22 a

Catalogue entry

With the page turned vertically, there is an isolated, fragmentary detail of what appears to be stonework, probably recording part of the intricate architectural carving at the east end of Westminster Abbey, as seen on folios 12 verso and 13 verso (D27746, D27748); see the sketchbook’s Introduction for the likely date and significance of these sketches.
At the top left, ascending vertically relative to the drawing, are the following figures:
7½        60   10
             30     
The ‘7’ is written over a ‘6’, or vice versa. Their significance, whether as measurements or perhaps financial calculations, is unclear. For other inscriptions in the sketchbook, see the Introduction.
Technical notes:
This leaf and folio 23 (D27767, D27768) have been trimmed slightly at the fore-edge, in this case cutting off the second ‘2’ of the red ink page number on the recto (D27765). Two edges are darkened by dust or exposure, indicative of disturbance at some point, and there are signs of neat strengthening or repair work at the gutter. Both leaves appear to have been extracted, potentially for display, as shown by the consecutive red ink numbers inscribed on them, apparently by John Ruskin, in this case ‘995’; for further discussion, see the Technical notes in the sketchbook’s Introduction.

Matthew Imms
April 2014

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