Joseph Mallord William Turner

Worcester from the Racecourse


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 114 x 191 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXXXIX 81 a

Catalogue entry

Inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation, these two related views show Worcester to the south from the west bank of the River Severn; the lower sketch is framed by horizontal and vertical pencil lines. The nearest building in each is the grandstand at the racecourse at Pitchcroft on the opposite bank, on or near the site of the present stand. The tower of Worcester Cathedral and the spire of St Andrew’s Church are prominent in both sketches. There is a small study from the same direction on folio 5 recto (D22158), and a view of the grandstand looking north on folio 83 recto opposite (D22323; Turner Bequest CCXXXIX 82).
This page has been related in passing 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), although the composition is based on the sketches of the cathedral from the south on folios 81 verso and 83 verso (D22300, D22304; Turner Bequest CCXXXIX 80a, 82a). For other views of Worcester, see under folio 2 verso (D22154).

Matthew Imms
April 2014

Wilton 1979, p.401 no.862, reproduced; see also Shanes 1979, p.156, and Shanes 1990, p.286 note 185.

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