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Not on display

Turner set the distinctive outline of Durham Cathedral against a soft grey sky. Its great size and prominent position ensure its dominance over the surrounding countryside. Turner hinted at the city's presence close to the cathedral and included the characteristic terraced houses of the region on the near bank. He made this drawing during a sketching tour of the North of England and Scotland in 1801. His regular tours around the country provided material for commissions and subjects which might eventually be engraved for editions of collected picturesque views.

Glossary Open


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


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.

Commission, Engraving


  • Acc. No. D NG 889
  • Medium Watercolour over pencil on paper
  • Size 40.90 x 25.00 cm
  • Credit Henry Vaughan Bequest 1900