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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Part of the Façade of a Neo-Gothic Building c.1798

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Part of the Façade of a Neo-Gothic Building c.1798
Turner Bequest XXIII d
Pencil on white wove paper, 230 x 121 mm
Stamped in black ‘XXIII d’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Although there are superficial resemblances to parts of All Souls College, this does not seem to be an Oxford building. It is in the ‘Gothick’ manner of around 1800, and may be the product of Turner’s relationship with James Wyatt (1746–1813), a prolific architect in that style at the turn of the century (see the Introductions to this subsection and the section as a whole).
Another possibility is that the drawing is related to Turner’s view showing a projected elevation of Hafod, North Wales, by another architect, John Nash (1752–1835), with whom Turner was to become friendly two decades later. Nash was involved in building a library there, and Turner made a watercolour of an unrealised design by him, now in the Lady Lever Art Gallery, Port Sunlight.1 For an unattributed sketch design associated with Hafod, see Tate D36652 (Turner Bequest CCCLXXX 4).
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.337 no.331, reproduced.
Blank; stamped in brown ink with Turner Bequest monogram.

Andrew Wilton
March 2013

How to cite

Andrew Wilton, ‘Part of the Façade of a Neo-Gothic Building c.1798 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, March 2013, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, April 2015, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-part-of-the-facade-of-a-neo-gothic-building-r1174111, accessed 22 September 2021.