Joseph Mallord William Turner

Wingfield Manor: The Inner Gateway


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Watercolour on paper
Support: 202 × 273 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCCLXXIV 23

Catalogue entry

Probably commissioned by Dr Thomas Monro
Monro’s posthumous sale, Christie’s, London, 26–28 June and 1–2 July 1833 (day and lot number not known)
Bought by or on behalf of Turner
Finberg listed this drawing in his Inventory as part of Dr Monro’s album of Swiss and Italian drawings (Turner Bequest CCCLXXIV), but concluded that it did not belong there. The sheet is in fact too large for pencil border drawn on the relevant page of the album (for further discussion, see the introduction to the album). Finberg also doubted Ruskin’s identification of the subject as Wingfield Manor, but that was correct. The medium – grey wash – is consistent with other work done for Monro; but the subject does not appear to be the customary copy after Edward Dayes (1763–1804) or John Robert Cozens (1752–1797).
Turner may have derived his subject from the view of Wingfield in Parkyn’s Monastic Remains, but it is possible that he visited the ruin while he was in Derbyshire on his Midland tour of 1794. He certainly went there in 1797, and made drawings in his North of England sketchbook (Tate D00906, D00907; Turner Bequest XXXIV 1, 2). Other drawings exhibited by the National Gallery under the title ‘Wingfield Manor’ are misidentified and may show the ruins of the Savoy Palace; see Tate D36523 and D36526 (Turner Bequest CCCLXXV 2, 5).
Wingfield Manor, near Matlock, Derbyshire, is now the impressive ruin of a very large house built in 1440 by Ralph, Lord Cromwell, Treasurer of England. Mary, Queen of Scots was imprisoned there on three occasions. The house was abandoned in the late eighteenth century. The water cart that Turner shows is of a type that continued to be used at Wingfield until within living memory.
Blank; not stamped; inscribed in pencil ‘ccclxxiv. 23.?’ bottom right; evidence of glue at corners where formerly mounted.

Andrew Wilton
April 2012

Read full Catalogue entry


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