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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Durham: Framwellgate Bridge, with the Castle Seen across the River 1801

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 27 Recto:
Durham: Framwellgate Bridge, with the Castle Seen across the River 1801
Turner Bequest LIII 27
Pencil on white wove paper, 162 x 112 mm
Inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘X’ and ‘B’ below centre, on houses
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘27’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘LIII – 27’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
The drawing is continued a little on folio 26 verso opposite (D02505). For other views of Durham in this sketchbook, see under folio 15 verso (D02483).
A more elaborate pencil drawing of this subject is in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford,1 which Luke Herrmann considers to belong to the Tweed and Lakes sketchbook of 1797 (Tate; Turner Bequest XXXV), and its dimensions (366 x 263 mm) accord fairly closely with that book.2 Turner made many drawings at Durham on his 1797 tour; however, the Ashmolean drawing and this one of 1801 correspond almost exactly in every detail, suggesting that the former is derived from the latter, and dates from about the same time.
Finberg thought that the Ashmolean sheet was a page from the Smaller Fonthill sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest XLVIII),3 which Turner also took with him to Scotland in 1801 and which was broken up and largely dispersed; it is consequently listed as no.20 in the checklist of drawings in other collections in that sketchbook’s Introduction (see the ‘Architectural and Other Subjects c.1797–1807’ section of this catalogue). But if the Ashmolean leaf was cut down from the dimensions of the Smaller Fonthill book (approximately 265 x 415 mm) it is surprising that its image exactly conforms to the present subject.

Andrew Wilton
May 2013

Luke Herrmann, Ruskin and Turner: A Study of Ruskin as a Collector of Turner, Based on his Gifts to the University of Oxford; Incorporating a Catalogue Raisonné of the Turner Drawings in the Ashmolean Museum, London 1968, p.89 no.65, pl.IV, as 1797; see also Finberg 1909, I, p.123.
See also Herrmann and Harrison 2000, p.22.
See Finberg 1909, I, p.134.

How to cite

Andrew Wilton, ‘Durham: Framwellgate Bridge, with the Castle Seen across the River 1801 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, May 2013, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, April 2016, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-durham-framwellgate-bridge-with-the-castle-seen-across-the-r1178528, accessed 22 September 2021.