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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Durham Cathedral from across the River Wear 1817

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 8 Recto:
Durham Cathedral from across the River Wear 1817
Turner Bequest CLVII 8
Pencil on white wove paper, 116 x 185 mm
Inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘Durham’ centre left
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘8’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CLVII – 8’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Durham Cathedral is indicated in outline only to the north-east across the Wear from the woods which still line the west bank. There are similar views in the 1801 Helmsley sketchbook (Tate D02483, D02484, D02495, D02496; Turner Bequest LIII 15a–16, 21a–22). ‘Durham’ is written on the left, apparently transcribed from a rectangular sign or stone which seems to be indicated from a little further back in a slighter sketch on folio 9 (D12328).

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 one further sketch on folio 76 verso (D12414). For Turner’s other visits to the city, see the entry for D12325, which also discusses later colour sketches and the Picturesque Views in England and Wales watercolour showing the cathedral from this direction.

Matthew Imms
February 2010

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘Durham Cathedral from across the River Wear 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-from-across-the-river-wear-r1139326, accessed 28 November 2020.