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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Hawarden: The Old Castle Rising above Trees, with a Stream in the Foreground 1801

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 53 Recto:
Hawarden: The Old Castle Rising above Trees, with a Stream in the Foreground 1801
Turner Bequest LXXXII 53
Pencil on white wove paper, 161 x 256 mm
Watermark ‘1794’ (trimmed)
Blind–stamped with Turner Bequest monogram bottom right
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘53’ bottom left, descending vertically
Stamped in black ‘LXXXII – 53’ bottom left, descending vertically
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
The drawing was made with the page turned horizontally. The old castle at Hawarden is an ancient fortification that played a significant part in the Welsh wars of the thirteenth century, which had already attracted Turner’s attention as subject matter for romantic landscapes: his oil painting Dolbadern Castle, North Wales (Royal Academy of Arts, London)1 had appeared at the Royal Academy’s exhibition in the spring of 1801, prior to the present tour, as had the large watercolour of Caernarvon Castle, North Wales the year before (Tate D04164; Turner Bequest LXX M).2 See also the unfinished watercolour of the destruction of the Bards by Edward I (Tate D04168; Turner Bequest LXX Q) and related studies.
Hawarden’s old castle was slighted by Cromwellian troops during the Civil War, and is now a ruin in the grounds of the new castle, an eighteenth– and nineteenth–century Gothick building famous as the home of the Victorian Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone (1809–1898). Further views at Hawarden are on folios 53 verso, 54 recto and 55 recto (D05132–D05134), and possibly 56 recto and 57 recto (D05135, D05136).

Andrew Wilton
May 2013

Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984, pp.9–10 no.12, pl.7 (colour).
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.329 no.263, pl.52.

How to cite

Andrew Wilton, ‘Hawarden: The Old Castle Rising above Trees, with a Stream in the Foreground 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-hawarden-the-old-castle-rising-above-trees-with-a-stream-in-r1178700, accessed 19 September 2021.