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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Newcastle Castle from St Nicholas's Cathedral ?1831

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 8 Recto:
Newcastle Castle from St Nicholas’s Cathedral ?1831
Turner Bequest CCXXXIX 8
Pencil on white wove paper, 114 x 191 mm
Partial watermark ‘R Bar | 18’
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘8’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CCXXXIX – 8’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
The subject of this slight sketch was identified as Newcastle upon Tyne by A.J. Finberg (died 1939) and the watercolour and Turner scholar C.F. Bell (died 1966) in undated manuscript notes in copies of Finberg’s 1909 Inventory.1 For Shrewsbury, Finberg’s previously published suggestion, see under folio 12 verso (D22172). In the distance to the south is the keep of Newcastle Castle, and on the right in the foreground is the east end of St Nicholas’s Cathedral. The street plan between the two has since changed considerably, and the view is obscured.
Turner had first visited the industrial port in 1801, sketching the castle and St Nicholas’s in the Helmsley sketchbook (Tate D02603–D02604; Turner Bequest LIII 94a, 95). There is a view along the River Tyne in the Scotch Antiquities sketchbook (Tate D13558; Turner Bequest CLXVII 2), the basis of a watercolour (Tate D18144; Turner Bequest CCVIII K),2 engraved for the Rivers of England in 1823. Turner perhaps briefly revisited Newcastle on his way back from Scotland in 1831 (see the sketchbook’s Introduction); there are other views on folios 1 recto, 8 verso, 9 recto and 36 recto (D22151, D22164, D22165, D22216).

Matthew Imms
April 2014

A.J. Finberg, undated MS notes in a copy of Finberg 1909, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, vol.II, p.733; C.F. Bell, undated MS notes in another copy at the same location, vol.II, p.733; confirmed by Ian Warrell, notes from 1993 and later in Tate catalogue files.
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, pp.484–5 no.733, reproduced.

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘Newcastle Castle from St Nicholas’s Cathedral ?1831 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, April 2014, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, September 2014, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-newcastle-castle-from-st-nicholass-cathedral-r1148809, accessed 18 September 2021.