Dudley, Worcestershire

Joseph Mallord William Turner, 1830 - 1833 probably

LL 3923

About this object

Turner’s famous view of Dudley in the West Midlands was made for the 'Picturesque Views in England and Wales' series after he visited the area in 1830.

Industrialisation was a topical issue. Concerns were growing over its impact on living conditions and society. Turner’s watercolour rises above these debates to provide a haunting nocturnal scene of labourers working against the backdrop of the ruins of Dudley Castle. Turner recognised that industrial growth was important to Britain’s economic success in contrast to picturesque but declining cities like Venice.

Object specifics

  • Other title(s)
    Dudley Castle, View looking up the River
  • Artist(s)
    Joseph Mallord William Turner (British: English, born:1775-05-23 probably, died:1851-12-19)
  • Date
    1830 - 1833 probably
  • Materials
    Watercolour; Gum arabic; Paper; Scratching out
  • Measurements
    paper: 29.3 cm x 43.2 cm
  • Physical description
    A hazy, smoky scene with barges in the foreground, and figures with a horse on the towpath to the right. Also to the right, beyond these, is a house with night flares and opposite to the left, factories with smoking chimneys. A hill and Dudley Castle appear in the background. The scene is moonlit.
  • Related people
    George Alexander Drummond (Previous owner) ; Charles Heath (Previous owner) ; William Hesketh Lever (Previous owner) ; John Ruskin (Previous owner) ; Joseph Mallord William Turner (Artist/maker)
  • Other number(s)
    Out of Use Accession Number: WHL 4030
  • Credit line
    Purchased by William Hesketh Lever in 1919
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Collection
    From the Lady Lever Art Gallery collections

Explore related


  • British Watercolours and Drawings: Lord Leverhulme's Collection in the Lady Lever Art Gallery

    Jessica Feather

    Author: Jessica Feather
    Publisher: Liverpool University Press & National Museums Liverpool
    Date: 2010
    Description: Lord Leverhulme's Collection catalogue of Watercolours and Drawings in the Lady Lever Art Gallery


Previous owners

  • William Hesketh Lever

    Owned from: 1919
    How acquired: Purchased by Gooden and Fox from Christie's on 26 June 1919 for Lever
    Owned until: Unknown or unrecorded
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
  • Sir George Alexander Drummond

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1919
    Disposal method: Sold at Christie's on 26 June 1919
  • John Ruskin

    Owned from: 1843-03
    How acquired: Purchased in March 1843
    Owned until: 1878
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
  • Charles Heath

    Owned from: 1833
    How acquired: Possibly acquired from an exhibiton at Moon, Boys and Graves Gallery, London
    Owned until: Unknown or unrecorded
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded


Item inscriptions

  • Inscription text: DUDL
    Inscription method: Painted in watercolour
    Inscription note:
    Inscription location: Front; Lower right
Object view = Fine Art
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