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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Durham Cathedral and Castle beyond Elvet Bridge 1817

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 11 Recto:
Durham Cathedral and Castle beyond Elvet Bridge 1817
Turner Bequest CLVII 11
Pencil on white wove paper, 116 x 185 mm
Part watermark ‘J Wh | 18’
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘11’ bottom right (now very faint)
Stamped in black ‘CLVII – 11’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
To make this slight sketch of the medieval Elvet Bridge its surroundings, Turner looked down the Wear from its north bank at about the point where the New Elvet Bridge now crosses, with the cathedral and castle on the skyline to the south-west. There is a very brief continuation of trees to the left on folio 10 verso opposite (D40921). An elaborately-detailed townscape from the same viewpoint, made in 1797 on Turner’s first tour of the north, is in the Tweed and Lakes sketchbook (Tate D01017; Turner Bequest XXXV 14), and there is a view of the castle and bridge from further east in the Helmsley sketchbook of 1801 (D02503, D02504; LIII 25a–26).
This is one of a continuous run of drawings of Durham, beginning on folio 6 recto (D12325) and concluding on folio 14 recto (D12334), with a further sketch of Elvet Bridge (from the opposite side) on folio 76 verso (D12414). For Turner’s other visits to the city, see the entry for D12325.

Matthew Imms
February 2010

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘Durham Cathedral and Castle beyond Elvet Bridge 1817 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, February 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-durham-cathedral-and-castle-beyond-elvet-bridge-r1139331, accessed 18 September 2021.