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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Fonthill: Near View of the Abbey from the South-East 1799

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Fonthill: Near View of the Abbey from the South-East 1799
Turner Bequest XLVII 5
Pencil on white wove paper, 333 x 467 mm
Blind-stamped with Turner Bequest monogram below right of centre
Inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘Top’, ‘x Height of the floor’ and ‘x windows’ in the drawing
Stamped in black ‘XLVII 5’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Although this book contains a long series of drawings showing William Beckford’s great folly from different viewpoints in the park, there are only two studies of the architecture of the house in detail from close range: this one, made with the page turned horizontally, the vertical view on D02178 (Turner Bequest XLVII 1). Here he shows the grandiose main entrance, facing west, on the left, flanked by the West Cloister, with the South Cloister on the return wall to the right. The half-completed tower rises above, with notes of some of its features beside it. A few of the 950 workmen employed in the construction, with their horses and wagons, can be seen scattered about the scene.
Technical notes:
For a proposed sequence for the leaves of the disbound Fonthill sketchbook, with this page as folio 29, see the Introduction.

Andrew Wilton
March 2013

How to cite

Andrew Wilton, ‘Fonthill: Near View of the Abbey from the South-East 1799 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, March 2013, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, April 2015, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-fonthill-near-view-of-the-abbey-from-the-south-east-r1174247, accessed 19 October 2019.