Joseph Mallord William Turner

?Worcester Cathedral from the River Severn


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Watercolour on paper
Support: 334 × 502 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXIII 36

Catalogue entry

Following unpublished notes by Ian Warrell, Eric Shanes suggests this colour study relates to the watercolour Worcester of about 1834 (British Museum, London),1 engraved in 1835 for the Picturesque Views in England and Wales (Tate impression: T06117).2 The relationship of the tower on the right and the water in the foreground is similar, although the dark, billowing clouds here vary from the strong beams of sunlight illuminating the cathedral in the finished design. Turner had recorded the scene looking north-east in two similar drawings in the 1831 Worcester and Shrewsbury sketchbook (Tate D22300, D22304; Turner Bequest CCXXXIX 80a, 82a).
See also the introductions to the present subsection of identified subjects and the overall England and Wales ‘colour beginnings’ grouping to which this work has been assigned.
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.401 no.862, reproduced.
Shanes 1997, pp.95, 104.
Blank; inscribed in pencil ‘AB 92 P | O’ top left, upside down; stamped in black with Turner Bequest monogram above ‘CCLXIII – 36’ bottom left; inscribed in pencil ‘CCLXIII. 36’ bottom right.
The ‘AB’ number corresponds with the endorsement on one of the parcels of works sorted by John Ruskin during his survey of the Turner Bequest, in this case classified by him as ‘Colour effects. Valueless’.1

Matthew Imms
March 2013

Transcribed in Finberg 1909, II, p.814.

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