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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Melrose Abbey: The Interior of the North Transept 1797

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 22 Recto:
Melrose Abbey: The Interior of the North Transept 1797
Turner Bequest XXXV 16
Pencil on white wove paper, 370 x 274 mm
Blind-stamped with Turner Bequest monogram towards bottom right
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘Melrose JR’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘XXXV 16’ bottom right
There are three views of Melrose in this book, here and on folios 23 recto and 24 recto (D40551, D01020; Turner Bequest XXXV 17, 18). Two others are in the contemporary North of England sketchbook (Tate D00969, D00970; Turner Bequest XXXIV 60, 61). Turner scholar David Hill thinks that the weather must have been exceptionally good for Turner to have spent so much time out of doors making his elaborate exterior views, and though there is no reason to suppose that he necessarily had a ‘deep blue sky’; elsewhere on the tour, Hill infers from ill-defined distances that Turner endured rain and mist.1 Whatever the weather, he was outside for much of the time on this tour, as on most others. He returned to Melrose in 1831 and 1834 to make smaller and quicker studies for his illustrations to the works of Scott, in the Abbotsford and Edinburgh sketchbooks (Tate; Turner Bequest CCLXVII and Turner Bequest CCLXVIII).2
Hill 1996, p.106.
See Gerald Finley, Landscapes of Memory: Turner as Illustrator to Scott, London 1980, and the relevant sections of the present catalogue.
Blank; stamped in brown ink with Turner Bequest monogram; inscribed by A.J. Finberg in pencil ‘141.16’.

Andrew Wilton
August 2010

How to cite

Andrew Wilton, ‘Melrose Abbey: The Interior of the North Transept 1797 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, August 2010, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, November 2014, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-melrose-abbey-the-interior-of-the-north-transept-r1150186, accessed 05 December 2021.