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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Bridgnorth: Looking down to the River Severn; North Gate; St Leonard's Church ?1831

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 73 Verso:
Bridgnorth: Looking down to the River Severn; North Gate; St Leonard’s Church ?1831
Turner Bequest CCXXXIX 72a
Pencil on white wove paper, 114 x 191 mm
Partial watermark ‘nard | 20’
Inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘[?Entrance] to BN | v white’ top left, ‘21’ right of centre, and ‘BN’ centre right, descending vertically
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
The subject main subject, inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation, was identified as ‘Bridgenorth’ (sic) by A.J. Finberg (died 1939) and the watercolour and Turner scholar C.F. Bell (died 1966) in undated manuscript notes in copies of Finberg’s 1909 Inventory.1 It continues across folio 74 recto opposite (D22285; Turner Bequest CCXXXIX 73). The viewpoint is the hillside above the town’s bridge, in the vicinity of Castle Terrace and the later Cliff Railway, looking east to the bridge and north to St Leonard’s Church (on the opposite page), with the hills around High Rock on the opposite bank of the River Severn beyond.
At the top left is a slight sketch of Bridgnorth’s North Gate from the north, seen again in a wider context in the sketch at the top centre, looking up the hill with the tower of St Leonard’s Church on the left (now obscured). At the outer edge of the page, turned vertically, is a view along Church Street, looking north-east to the tower of St Leonard’s. For other views of Bridgnorth, see under folio 1 recto (D22151).

Matthew Imms
April 2014

A.J. Finberg, undated MS notes in a copy of Finberg 1909, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, vol.II, p.736; C.F. Bell, undated MS notes in another copy at the same location, vol.II, p.736; confimed by Ian Warrell in notes from 1993 and later in Tate catalogue files.

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘Bridgnorth: Looking down to the River Severn; North Gate; St Leonard’s Church ?1831 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, April 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-bridgnorth-looking-down-to-the-river-severn-north-gate-st-r1148932, accessed 23 January 2022.