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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Durham: Buildings on the Elvet Bridge 1797

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 32 Recto:
Durham: Buildings on the Elvet Bridge 1797
Turner Bequest XXXIV 31
Pencil on white wove paper, 210 x 270 mm
Blind-stamped with Turner Bequest monogram bottom centre
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘31’ bottom left, descending vertically
Stamped in black ‘XXXIV 31’ bottom left, descending vertically
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
David Hill speculates that Turner stayed in Durham for about three days. The majority of his drawings there are in the Tweed and Lakes sketchbook (Tate D01013–D01018; Turner Bequest XXXV 10–15), as he evidently wished to take advantage of the larger sheet size to convey his response, in particular, to the great Norman cathedral.
Drawn with the page turned horizontally, this study of the eastern end of Elvet Bridge, built over the River Wear in the thirteenth century, is the only Durham subject in the North of England sketchbook. It was a popular subject with picturesque topographers such as Thomas Hearne (1744–1817), whose view of it is in the British Museum, London (1859–5–28–207).1 The western part of the bridge is recorded in the Tweed and Lakes book (Tate D01017; Turner Bequest XXXV 14).2
See Martin Hardie (Dudley Snelgrove, Jonathan Mayne and Basil Taylor, eds.), Water-colour Painting in Britain, vol.I, The Eighteenth Century, London 1966, p.180.
Hill 1996, p. 56
Blank; stamped in brown ink with Turner Bequest monogram.

Andrew Wilton
January 2013

How to cite

Andrew Wilton, ‘Durham: Buildings on the Elvet Bridge 1797 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, January 2013, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, November 2014, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-durham-buildings-on-the-elvet-bridge-r1150093, accessed 21 January 2021.