Melrose Abbey

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This watercolor depicts Ariccia, a town southeast of Rome that was a popular stop for artists as they traveled through Europe on the Grand Tour. Turner, however, had not yet travelled extensively in Italy. Rather, he was commissioned by architect James Hakewill—who visited the country in 1816 and 1817—to create twenty watercolors to memorialize his journey. Apparently motivated by this project, Turner began an Italian tour soon after, in 1819.


The artist, commissioned by Walter Ramsden Hawksworth Fawkes; Major Lt. G. G. W. Horton-Fawkes, by descent (by 1967–1988, sale, Christie’s, London, 12 July 1988, no. 193); sale, Sotheby’s, London, 19 Nov. 1992, no. 152, sold to Arthur Ackermann & Peter Johnson, Ltd., as agent for Manton; Sir Edwin A. G. Manton, New York (1992–d. 2005); Manton Family Art Foundation (2005–2007, given to the Clark); Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, 2007.

Joseph Mallord William Turner

English, 1775–1851

Melrose Abbey


Watercolor on cream wove paper

Sheet: 7 3/4 x 5 5/16 in. (19.7 x 13.5 cm)

Gift of the Manton Art Foundation in memory of Sir Edwin and Lady Manton, 2007




Clarke, Jay, ed. Landscape, Innovation, and Nostalgia: The Manton Collection of British Art. Williamstown, MA: The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, 2012.