The subject had been amended as ‘Chester’ by A.J. Finberg (died 1939) and the watercolour and Turner scholar C.F. Bell (died 1966) in undated manuscript notes in copies of Finberg’s 1909 Inventory.1 Turner shows the crossing tower of Chester Cathedral through the ruined window arches of the Gothic cloisters, looking south-east; in order to record the windows of the cathedral’s nave and the far side of the cloisters, he has effectively rendered the stonework on the near side transparent.
An 1811 etching by George Cuitt, Junior (1779–1854) shows a similar view of Part of the Cloisters of Chester Cathedral (British Museum, London), indicating the ruinous state of the tracery in the early nineteenth century. The cloisters were restored in 1911–13 by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott (1880–1960).2
A.J. Finberg, undated MS notes in a copy of Finberg 1909, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, vol.II, p.734; C.F. Bell, undated MS notes in another copy at the same location, vol.II, p.734; subject confirmed by Ian Warrell in notes from 1993 and later in Tate catalogue files.