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Turner’s Wessex

Architecture and Ambition

Ian Warrell

    ISBN: 978 1 85759 930 5

    Size: 280 x 218 mm / 8½ x 11 in.

    Binding: Paperback

    Pages: 208

    In association with:

    Date published: March, 2015

    UK £25 /US $39.95


  • A lavishly illustrated book written to accompany a major exhibition at the Salisbury Museum in 2015
  • The exhibition will reunite works that have not been seen together since the nineteenth century
  • Including for the first time all the views Turner made at Stonehenge


Turner was only 20 in 1795 when he first visited Salisbury. This book focuses on the important commissions that resulted from his contact with the region, which provided the foundations for his success. Reunited here are his inventive watercolours of Salisbury Cathedral painted for Sir Richard Colt Hoare, widely dispersed since 1883. Turner’s matchless ability to depict architecture also attracted the attention of the eccentric art lover and writer, William Beckford. The problematic construction of Beckford’s legendary but short-lived neo-gothic abbey at Fonthill was uniquely recorded in Turner’s sketches and watercolours.

As his career developed, Turner repeatedly revisited an area that captivated him. His depictions of Stonehenge, in particular, proved to be among his most hauntingly atmospheric works. In this beautifully illustrated book many rarely seen works are brought together, illuminating this formative and fascinating period in Turner’s output.

Author information

Ian Warrell is an independent curator, specialising in British art of the nineteenth century. He is the author of many books on Turner, most recently Turner’s Sketchbooks.