Durham about 1830 - 1835
Turner views Durham castle and the city's cathedral from a bridge over the River Wear in this atmospheric watercolour. The corner parapet of the bridge at the right provides a sense of immediacy and scale to the scene. This highly finished work, based on earlier drawings of 1801, was produced to be engraved as an illustration in 'Picturesque Views in England and Wales' which was commissioned by the publisher Charles Heath. Turner took great care in supervising work on the engraver's plate, which resulted in one of the finest prints in the series. The publication, however, was not a commercial success.

Glossary Open

Commission

When an individual or organisation employs an artist to execute a particular project, the process and the resulting work are termed a ‘commission’.

Engraving

The printmaking technique in which an image is inscribed on a copper plate with a tool that cuts a groove in the surface. This groove holds the ink that creates the print when it is applied to paper. Also refers to the method of making an incision on a material such as glass.

Watercolour

A paint with colouring and binding agents diluted with water. It has a transparent quality and is usually applied to paper.

Commission, Engraving, Watercolour

Details

  • Acc. No. D NG 883
  • Medium Watercolour, some gum and scraping on paper
  • Size 29.50 x 44.00 cm
  • Credit Henry Vaughan Bequest 1900