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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Mitton Church, Lancashire: The Interior of the Sherburne Chapel 1799

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 1 Recto:
Mitton Church, Lancashire: The Interior of the Sherburne Chapel 1799
Turner Bequest XLV 1
Pencil on white wove paper, 225 x 329 mm
Inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘Here lieth the Bones of Sr Ric’d Sherburne Kt Master Forrest of ye F of Bowland | Steward of ye Manor of Slidbourne Ld of the Isle of Man and one of her [?his]’ and ‘QVANT IE PVIS’ top right
Inscribed in pencil ‘XLV.1’ bottom left, descending vertically
Stamped in black ‘XLV-1’ bottom left, descending vertically
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Drawn with the page turned horizontally, this is the basis of the watercolour executed for Whitaker’s History of the Parish of Whalley (Towneley Hall Art Gallery, Burnley),1 and engraved in 1801 (Tate impression: D05934). As David Hill points out, this church interior embodies little of the dramatic effects of chiaroscuro that Turner had deployed in his watercolours of Ewenny Priory in South Wales, exhibited in 1797 (National Museum Wales, Cardiff),2 and Bishop Islip’s Chapel, Westminster Abbey, shown the previous year (British Museum, London).3 It is reminiscent, rather, of the intricate interiors that he noted in the Wilson sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest XXXVII), where arcades and screens intersect the space and create a sense of mystery and antiquity in a more informal way.
Wilton 1979, p.332 no.294, reproduced.
Ibid., p.325 no.227, pl.28.
Ibid., p.314 no.138, reproduced.
Technical notes:
The lower left corner has been torn away and made good.

Andrew Wilton
May 2013

How to cite

Andrew Wilton, ‘Mitton Church, Lancashire: The Interior of the Sherburne Chapel 1799 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-mitton-church-lancashire-the-interior-of-the-sherburne-r1177786, accessed 21 October 2021.