Northwest View of Malmesbury Abbey

Joseph Mallord William Turner (English, 1775-1851)

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With intensely observed sure-handed precision typical of Turner’s early drawings, this sketch of the ruined abbey was one of several drawn on his tour in the summer of 1791. Already differing from many of his competitors among topographical draftsmen, who commonly worked from the spot that the guidebooks prescribed as the “best view,” Turner sketched the abbey from a variety of angles before choosing one to work up into a watercolor for the following year’s Royal Academy exhibition.

Object Information

Joseph Mallord William Turner (English, 1775-1851)
creation date
about 1791
pencil on white paper
7-3/4 x 10-1/2 in (sheet)
mark descriptions
inscribed in pencil, L.L.: North West, Malmsbury [sic] Abbey, Wiltshire | signed in pencil, L.R.: W. Turner
accession number
credit line
Gift in memory of Dr. and Mrs. Hugo O. Pantzer
Public Domain
Prints, Drawings, and Photographs

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