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 9 Recto:
Durham Cathedral from across the River Wear 1817
Turner Bequest CLVII 9
Pencil on white wove paper, 116 x 185 mm
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘9’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CLVII – 9’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
The west front of Durham Cathedral is barely indicated on the right, to the north-east across the Wear from the wooded west bank. There are similar views in the 1801 Helmsley sketchbook (Tate D02483, D02484, D02495, D02496; Turner Bequest LIII 15a–16, 21a–22); on folio 8 recto (D12327), a more detailed sketch from nearby apparently shows a sign or stone inscribed ‘Durham’, which may be indicated again in outline towards the left here.
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.
Technical notes:
There is a small, dark deposit towards the bottom of the right-hand edge which aalso affects the verso (D12329).

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-r1139327, accessed 27 November 2021.