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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner St Andrew's Church, George Street Edinburgh 1818

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 1 Recto:
St Andrew’s Church, George Street Edinburgh 1818
Turner Bequest CLXVI 1
Pencil on white wove paper, 90 x 112 mm
Inscribed in pencil by Turner ‘23 [?]Duddingston of [?]Waverly 25 of [...] | 47 York Place [?]Hayworth 34 R[...] 3 Layand [...] [...]’ top
Stamped in black ‘CLXVI 1’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
This street scene shows the church of St Andrew’s and St George’s in George Street, Edinburgh. In 1818 the church was dedicated to St Andrew alone, with St George’s Church – which Turner also drew in this sketchbook (folio 60 verso; D13566) – located in the nearby Charlotte Square; the two congregations joined in 1964 when St George’s became the West Register House. Although the sketch is now faint, the main features of the church’s façade can be made out including the tall portico topped by a triangular pediment, the three-level steeple and the sharp spire. Turner also made a study of the spire in the Bass Rock and Edinburgh sketchbook (folio 63; Tate D13433; Turner Bequest CLXV 63) where these features can be more clearly made out. Similarly, George Street is faint and roughly drawn, but Turner still captures the character of the lofty Georgian architecture.
At the top of the page is a list of addresses among which is ‘York Place’ a road near George Street. The other addresses are likely to be close by although they have not been identified, and were perhaps places that Turner had been recommended to visit.
Damage to this page at the right has been repaired.

Thomas Ardill
January 2008

How to cite

Thomas Ardill, ‘St Andrew’s Church, George Street Edinburgh 1818 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, January 2008, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, December 2012, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-st-andrews-church-george-street-edinburgh-r1131994, accessed 21 August 2019.