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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Interior of St Bride's Church, Douglas, with the Douglas Tombs, Lanarkshire 1834

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 25 Verso:
Interior of St Bride’s Church, Douglas, with the Douglas Tombs, Lanarkshire 1834
Turner Bequest CCLXIX 25a
Pencil on off-white wove paper, 113 x 190 mm
Inscribed in pencil by Turner ‘Dou’ [or ‘Door’] upper centre
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Along with folio 24 verso (D26306) this page contains a quick sketch of the interior of St Bride’s Church in Douglas, Lanarkshire.1 Although they are only very rough sketches Turner records the monuments to the Black Douglas family, who built the church and named the village. This sketch shows the south wall of the chancel, as seen from the western end, with two windows and one of the three tombs. The tomb is at the right, with its elaborately carved canopy drawn in shorthand as a straight and a wavy line. The effigies of James, seventh Earl of Douglas (died 1443) and Lady Beatrice (or Beatrix) de Sinclair (died in or before 1463), are indicated by a horizontal line intersecting a ‘3’ shape which marks out their two bodies and heads. Several scribbled shapes below suggest the carved frieze beneath. A scribbled shape beneath the larger window at the centre of the sketch probably represents the beautifully carved tomb effigy of a woman that occupied the centre of the chancel. The diamond shape at the top left of the sketch may represent the east window. This is also shown at the right of folio 24 verso.
An inscription by Turner to the bottom left of the tomb looks like is says ‘Door’, although there is no door in the wall below the window now, and no sign of there having been one in the past. A more likely possibility is that it says ‘Dou’, referring to the Douglas family, their tombs and the name of the village.
Turner also sketches the exterior of St Bride’s Church; see folio 24 (D26305) for references.

Thomas Ardill
October 2010

Identified by David Wallace-Hadrill, ‘CCLXIX’, [circa 1991], Tate catalogue files, unpaginated MS.

How to cite

Thomas Ardill, ‘Interior of St Bride’s Church, Douglas, with the Douglas Tombs, Lanarkshire 1834 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, October 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-interior-of-st-brides-church-douglas-with-the-douglas-tombs-r1136238, accessed 14 August 2020.