J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Berwick 1831

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 60 Recto:
Berwick 1831
Turner Bequest CCLXVII 62
Pencil on off-white wove writing paper, 113 x 185 mm
Inscribed in blue ink by John Ruskin ‘62’ bottom left inverted and ‘271’ top left inverted
Stamped in black ‘CCLXVII – 62’ top left inverted
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
In his diary entry of 10 August 1831, Robert Cadell writes about Turner making a sketch of ‘Berwick the old Castle, the Bridge and sea’.1 Gerald Finley has identified a number of sketches that fit this description, including the drawing across the present page and folio 59 verso (D26031; CCLXVII 61a).2 This was made a short distance from the spot where Turner took his preliminary sketch (folios 48 verso–49; D26009–D26010; CCLXVII 48a–49) for his watercolour Berwick-upon-Tweed circa 1832 (whereabouts unknown).3
The view, drawn with the sketchbook inverted, was therefore taken from the cliff-edge on the north bank of the Tweed to the west of the castle near where the Royal Border Bridge now stands; it looks east along the Tweed with Berwick Bridge and the estuary beyond. Berwick Castle stands at the top of the cliffs with its defensive ‘white wall’ running down to the water, and beyond it to the right is the tower of the Town Hall in Mary Gate. Part of Tweedmouth and Spittal, at the mouth of the river, are shown on folio 59 verso.

Thomas Ardill
September 2009

Robert Cadell, ‘Abbotsford Diary’, Wednesday 10 August 1831, National Library of Scotland, MS Acc.5188, Box 1, folio 111 verso; transcribed in Finley 1972, p.384.
Finley 1972, p.384 note 149.
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.430 no.1092.

How to cite

Thomas Ardill, ‘Berwick 1831 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, September 2009, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, December 2012, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-berwick-r1134400, accessed 25 May 2022.