Crypt of Kirkstall Abbey (Liber Studiorum, part VIII, plate 39)
Artist and publisher:
Joseph Mallord William Turner (British, London 1775–1851 London)
February 11, 1812
Etching, aquatint and mezzotint; second state of four
plate: 7 x 10 7/16 in. (17.8 x 26.5 cm) sheet: 8 1/4 x 11 1/2 in. (21 x 29.2 cm)
Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1928
Not on view
Turner distilled his ideas about landscape In "Liber Studiorum" (Latin for Book of Studies), a series of seventy prints plus a frontispiece published between 1807 and 1819. To establish the compositions, he made brown watercolor drawings, then etched outlines onto copper plates. This is one of the few instances where Turner also developed the tone, here using aquatint and mezzotint to describe the gloomy crypt of a ruined Norman (Romanesque) abbey in Yorkshire. Light streams from the left to reveal cattle resting by a pillar beneath round-arched vaults, with a pool of water at right. Trees are glimpsed through an open doorframe, and the "A" above the image indicates Turner's category of Architectural landscape.
Signature: in plate: "Drawn Etched & Engraved by I.M.W. Turner Esqr. R.A.P.P."
Inscription: in plate, above image: "A"; below: "Original Drawing in the possession of John Soane Esq-r R.A. Professor of Architecture / Published Feb-y 11. 1812, by I.M.W. Turner, Queen Ann Street West"; below, at lower left: an irregular "A"
Vendor: P. & D. Colnaghi & Co.
Finberg 39 ii/iv; Rawlinson 39 ii/iv
William George Rawlinson Turner's Liber Studiorum: A Description and A Catalogue. Macmillan & Co., 2nd ed. London, 1906, cat. no. 39 ii/iv, pp. 93-5.
Alexander Joseph Finberg The History of Turner's Liber Studiorum, with a new catalogue raisonné. Ernest Benn Limited, London, 1924, cat. no. 39 ii/iv, pp. 154-6.
Anne Lyles, Diane Perkins Colour into Line: Turner and the Art of Engraving, exh. cat., Tate Gallery, London. London, 1989, cat. nos. 32-33, p. 27.
Gillian Forrester Turner's 'Drawing Book': The Liber Studiorum, exh. cat., London, Tate Gallery, 20 February–2 June. London, 1996, illustrates: related sketchbook page, 1797 (Tate Britain), related watercolor, ca. 1806-7 (Tate Britain), etched state with aquatint, ca. 1811-12, and published state, 1812, cat. no. 39, pp. 99-100.