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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Dunfermline Abbey Church and Monastery Looking East 1831

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 6 Verso:
Dunfermline Abbey Church and Monastery Looking East 1831
Turner Bequest CCLXX 6a
Pencil on white wove paper, 125 x 201 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
One of Turner’s studies of the ruins of Dunfermline Abbey, this sketch has been identified as a view of the abbey church and the remains of the monastery, seen from the south end of St Catherine’s Wynd to the west.1 At the left is the west end of the church with the west window, a round window above it and a gable above that. Above is the north-west tower and spire. At the centre of the sketch is the south transept. What Wallace-Hadrill and Carolan took to be a tower is probably just the gabled roof and a finial. At the right is the remaining wall of the Frater Hall (or refectory) of Dunfermline Monastery.
Turner visited Dunfermline on his way from Edinburgh to Stirling in 1831 and later used his sketches as the basis for an illustration to a new edition of Sir Walter Scott’s Tales of a Grandfather. See folio 3 verso (D26441) for details and references to further sketches.

Thomas Ardill
June 2010

Wallace-Hadrill and Carolan 1990, p.15.

How to cite

Thomas Ardill, ‘Dunfermline Abbey Church and Monastery Looking East 1831 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, June 2010, 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-dunfermline-abbey-church-and-monastery-looking-east-r1134881, accessed 20 November 2019.