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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Newcastle from Gateshead ?1831

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 9 Recto:
Newcastle from Gateshead ?1831
Turner Bequest CCXXXIX 9
Pencil on white wove paper, 114 x 191 mm
Partial watermark ‘R Ba | 18’
Inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘9’ on bridge left of centre
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘9’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CCXXXIX – 9’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Shrewsbury, as suggested in Finberg’s 1909 Turner Bequest Inventory, was rejected as the subject of this sketch by Finberg himself (died 1939) and the watercolour and Turner scholar C.F. Bell (died 1966) in undated manuscript notes in copies of the Inventory, although they did not come up with an alternative.1 For Shrewsbury, see under folio 12 verso (D22172). Ian Warrell has identified the scene as Newcastle upon Tyne, with the Castle and St Nicholas’s Cathedral on the skyline, the Moot Hall (with its classical portico, as also seen on folio 8 verso opposite; D22164) to their right, and the Guildhall (with its cupola) at the far right; above floats the steeple of and All Saints Church,2 which Turner has brought into view from considerably further to the right in reality.
The scene is now framed by the High Level Bridge on the left and the Tyne Bridge on the right of the Guildhall, which all but obscures All Saints Church from Turner’s viewpoint across the Tyne at Hillgate in Gateshead. The bridge Turner shows was the third on the site (with ‘9’ arches as he indicates), built in 1781 but demolished in the 1870s to make way for the Swing Bridge.3
For other views of Newcastle, see under folio 8 recto (D22163).

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.
Ian Warrell, notes from 1993 and later in Tate catalogue files.
See ‘Swing Bridge: Heritage Open Days’ brochure at ‘Heritage Sites’, Port of Tyne, accessed 24 September 2013, http://www.portoftyne.co.uk/about-us/heritage-sites.php.

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘Newcastle from Gateshead ?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-from-gateshead-r1148811, accessed 18 September 2021.