For full functionality of this site it is necessary to enable JavaScript. Here are the instructions how to enable JavaScript in your web browser.
Works (?) Joseph Mallord William Turner

Knaresborough, from the River Nidd

1797 - 1798

Primary Image: TG1397: (?) Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775–1851), Knaresborough, from the River Nidd, 1797–98, watercolour on paper, 7.6 × 12.1 cm, 3 × 4 ¾ in. Private Collection.

Photo courtesy of Sotheby's (All Rights Reserved)

(?) Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851)
  • Knaresborough, from the River Nidd
1797 - 1798
Medium and Support
Watercolour on paper
7.6 × 12.1 cm, 3 × 4 ¾ in
Object Type
Colour Sketch: Studio Work
Subject Terms
River Scenery; Yorkshire View

Catalogue Number
Description Source(s)
Auction Catalogue


Walter C. Hetherington (d.1978); his posthumous sale, Christie’s, 14 February 1978, lot 59 with TG0791 as by Thomas Girtin, £240; Tom Girtin (1913–94); his sale, Sotheby's, 14 November 1991, lot 102 as by Joseph Mallord William Turner


Wilton, 1984a, p.12

About this Work


This watercolour was sold in 1978 with an attribution to Girtin on the not unreasonable grounds that it bears a striking resemblance to a pencil sketch of Knaresborough that is certainly in the artist’s hand (TG1511); moreover, the size and the sketch-like appearance of the work relate it to the twenty or so small watercolours that Girtin executed for Dr Thomas Monro (1759–1833). The watercolour reappeared at auction a few years later with an attribution to Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775–1851), however. In the meantime, Andrew Wilton had published his important article on the Monro School, which argues that the watercolour is based on a drawing in the Turner Bequest that was made on Turner’s tour to the north east in 1797 and that it therefore dates from 1797–98 (Wilton, 1984a, p.12) (see figure 1). Given that Girtin probably did not visit Knaresborough until 1799 at the earliest, Wilton’s argument appears to be correct and the similarity between the watercolour and Girtin’s drawing can be explained by the fact that both young artists took their view from the High Bridge looking east. It seems, therefore, that what began as a project to produce a group of small watercolours on card from outlines made after James Moore (1762–99), Girtin’s early patron, was expanded to include a new set of sketch-like drawings by Turner, the subjects of which were taken from his sketchbooks.


1799 - 1800

Knaresborough Castle, from the High Bridge


by Greg Smith

Place depicted

Revisions & Feedback

The website will be updated from time to time and, when changes are made, a PDF of the previous version of each page will be archived here for consultation and citation.

Please help us to improve this catalogue

If you have information, a correction or any other suggestions to improve this catalogue, please contact us.