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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Bolton Abbey and the River Wharfe, from the South 1816

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Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 10 Verso:
Bolton Abbey and the River Wharfe, from the South 1816
Turner Bequest CXXXIV 81
Pencil on white wove paper with gilt edges, 179 x 254 mm
Inscribed in an unknown hand in pencil ‘Sketch of Bolton Abbey | (about 1800)’ centre, ascending vertically
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
This composition continues across folio 11 recto opposite (D09887; Turner Bequest CXXXIV 82). The present page includes the east end of Bolton’s ruined church, seen from the south. For other views see under folio 7 recto (D09874; Turner Bequest CXXXIV 73).
Finberg noted that the present double-page sketch is the basis for the watercolour Bolton Abbey, Yorkshire of about 1825 (Lady Lever Art Gallery, Port Sunlight),1 engraved in 1827 for the series Picturesque Views in England and Wales.2 He made a lengthy analysis of the differences between the present sketch and the watercolour, where ‘almost every detail has been altered’ to create ‘a whole complex of visible harmony.’3
Wilton 1979, p.391 no.788, reproduced.
Finberg 1909, I, p.383; see also Finberg 1910, p.109; Shanes 1979, p.156; Wilton 1979, p.391; and Milner 1990, p.23.
Finberg 1910, pp.110–11.
Technical notes:
Both pages of this composition were removed from the sketchbook for mounting and display. In the present case the left-hand half (127 mm) of the original sheet is missing, with the corners trimmed diagonally, and has been made good with slightly darker paper. The inscription is at the edge of the remnant of the original sheet. There is a broad, well-preserved margin to the left of the drawing and undamaged strips above and below which were protected by the mount, but the exposed area has darkened. A pencil mark beyond the top left of the drawing was presumably made as a rough indication of the portion to be left visible when mounted. The sketchbook was mutilated in a similar way to provide an exhibitable one-and-a-half-page panorama of Leeds, now bound as folios 48 verso and 49 recto (D09883, D09884; Turner Bequest CXXXIV 79–80).

Matthew Imms
July 2014

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘Bolton Abbey and the River Wharfe, from the South 1816 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, July 2014, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, September 2014, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-bolton-abbey-and-the-river-wharfe-from-the-south-r1147361, accessed 26 July 2021.