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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Holy Island Cathedral c.1827

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Holy Island Cathedral c.1827
Turner Bequest CCLXXX 111
Watercolour and gouache on blue paper, 285 x 193 mm
Written in pencil ‘CCLXXX III’ bottom right
Written in red ink lower right: ‘III’
Stamped in black ‘CCLXXX-III’ bottom right
Stamped in black with Turner Bequest monogram, centre left
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner first visited the historic tidal island of Lindisfarne, or Holy Island, during his 1797 tour of the north of England, which took in the border county of Northumberland. He returned to Lindisfarne as a subject more than once during his career, creating a finished print entitled ‘Holy Island Cathedral’for his Liber Studiorum in 1809 (Tate D08115; Turner Bequest CXVI N), and a watercolour of the island for his Picturesque Views in England and Wales in the 1820s (Victoria and Albert Museum, London1). While the present study on blue paper bears resemblance to the Liber design in its focus on the ruined priory, its format and blue paper support suggest that it may instead have been made with a third print project, known as ‘Picturesque Views on the East Coast of England’, in mind. For more information about this project see the Introduction to this section.
Like with Tate D27627 (Turner Bequest CCLXXX 110), another sheet connected to the ‘East Coast’series, Turner used opaque white gouache to highlight the architectural forms, with a warm palette of brown and ochre employed to suggest the surroundings.
This study, along with some completed views of Whitby more definitely connected to the ‘East Coast’ series (see the Introduction to this section), may provide an indication of some of the east coast subjects from outside East Anglia that Turner envisaged for the unfinished scheme.
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.396 no.819.
Blank, save for inscription in pencil: ‘A B 23 P o’.

Elizabeth Jacklin
August 2018

How to cite

Elizabeth Jacklin, ‘Holy Island Cathedral c.1827 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, August 2018, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, November 2019, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-holy-island-cathedral-r1195901, accessed 14 April 2024.