393
393
Joseph Mallord William Turner, R.A.
GREAT MALVERN PRIORY AND GATEHOUSE, WORCESTERSHIRE
JUMP TO LOT
393
Joseph Mallord William Turner, R.A.
GREAT MALVERN PRIORY AND GATEHOUSE, WORCESTERSHIRE
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Old Master & British Works on Paper

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London

Joseph Mallord William Turner, R.A.
LONDON 1775 - 1851
GREAT MALVERN PRIORY AND GATEHOUSE, WORCESTERSHIRE
Watercolour over pencil;
signed lower centre: W. Turner
320 by 422 mm.
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Provenance

Possibly Thomas Greenwood (c. 1807-1876);
possibly with Agnew's, Manchester;
Thomas Ashton of Hyde, near Manchester, 1890;
Mrs P.W. Kessler, London, by 1924,
Miss Jean Kessler, by 1950,
H.A. Kessler,
his sale, London, Sotheby's, 19 November 1970, lot 107, bt. Agnew's,
with Agnew's, London;
sale, New York, Sotheby's, (Property of a West Coast Private Collector), 28 February 1990, lot 8

Exhibited

Manchester, City Art Gallery (on loan);
London, Agnew's, Exhibition of Water Colours of Turner, Cox and De Wint, 1924, no. 2;
London, Royal Academy, The First Hundred Years of the Royal Academy 1769-1868, 1950-51, no. 500 (as 'Malvern Abbey');
London, Agnew's, Centenary Exhibition of Water Colour Drawings by J.M.W. Turner R.A., 1951, no. 15;
Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, 1975 (on loan)

Literature

Sir W. Armstrong, Turner, London 1902, p. 265;
A. Wilton, The Life and Works of J.M.W. Turner, Fribourg 1979, no. 50;
E. Shanes, Young Mr Turner. The First Forty Years: 1775-1815, London 2016, pp. 88-9.

Catalogue Note

In 1793 the eighteen-year-old Turner carried out a sketching tour of Worcestershire and Herefordshire. His route took him through the town of Great Malvern, which lies to the south-west of Worcester, and whose Benedictine Priory and its Gatehouse are superb survivals from medieval Britain. 

Turner was clearly impressed, for the following year he chose to exhibit a view of the porch of the priory as one of his five submissions to the Royal Academy exhibition. His pictures attracted (for the first time) the attention of the critics and the Morning Post called them ‘among the best in the present exhibition: they are the productions of a very young artist, and give strong indications of first-rate ability; the character of Gothic architect is most happily presented, and its profusion of minute parts massed with judgment and tinctured with truth and fidelity…’1 

As a possible pendant to the above mentioned ‘The Porch’, Turner also painted a second work which depicts the same view as the present lot. That work was not exhibited at the Royal Academy and like The Porch it is now in the collection of the Whitworth Museum in Manchester.2 Perhaps spurred on by the positive reviews or perhaps having received a commission, Turner painted two further watercolours of these subjects: the present work, which contains subtle compositional changes to the foreground details compared to the Whitworth version and a watercolour that was sold at Christie’s, London 5 July 2016, lot 94 (£85,000). Both these works were once part of the Ashton collection in Hyde, Cheshire. We are grateful to Ian Warrell for his help when cataloguing this lot.

1. C. Nugent and M. Croal, Turner Watercolours from Manchester, Manchester 1997, p. 30
2. A. Wilton, op. cit., p. 306, nos. 49 & 51

 

 

Old Master & British Works on Paper

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London