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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Whitby: The Abbey from the Inner Harbour, Looking South 1801

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 6 Recto:
Whitby: The Abbey from the Inner Harbour, Looking South 1801
Turner Bequest LIII 6
Pencil on white wove paper, 112 x 162 mm
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘6’ bottom left, descending vertically
Stamped in black ‘LIII – 6’ bottom left, descending vertically
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
With the page turned horizontally, Whitby Abbey is prominent in the centre of this view, with the parish church of St Mary visible to the left. The Abbey was founded in the mid–seventh century by Oswy, King of Northumbria, with St Hilda as Abbess. It was rebuilt following its reconstitution in the twelfth century, and its much–weathered ruins high on the cliff above the town remain a landmark.
This sketch, and those on the following pages, folios 7 recto, 8 recto and 9 recto (D02470, D02471, D02473), may have been used as the basis for a watercolour view of Whitby executed for the series known as ‘Holloway’s Continuation of the England and Wales’;1 an engraving was planned, which is known only from a progress proof, open etching (R.312).2
See also the views around Whitby on folio 8 verso, 9 verso and 10 recto (D02472, D02474, D02475).
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.405 no.903.
W[illiam] G[eorge] Rawlinson, The Engraved Work of J.M.W. Turner, R.A., vol.I, London 1908, p.173 no.312.

Andrew Wilton
May 2013

How to cite

Andrew Wilton, ‘Whitby: The Abbey from the Inner Harbour, Looking South 1801 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-whitby-the-abbey-from-the-inner-harbour-looking-south-r1178491, accessed 20 January 2020.