Turner paintings given to Abbotsford, home of Sir Walter Scott

  • 4 March 2011

Two watercolours painted by JMW Turner at Abbotsford, former home of celebrated writer Sir Walter Scott, are to go on permanent display at the house next year.

Turner painted the two postcard-sized watercolours during a visit to Abbotsford in 1831. One depicts Abbotsford and the other depicts Newark Tower in Yarrow on the Borders. They were both used to illustrate an edition of The Poetical Works of Sir Walter Scot, published in 1833.

The works are currently owned by Art Fund supporter Phoebe Barrow. She is donating the works through the Art Fund to The Abbotsford Trust, which runs the historic house. By giving the works through us, Phoebe Barrow is assured through our terms and conditions that they will be safeguarded in perpetuity.

Later this year, a work will begin on a multi-million redevelopment of the house. The Trust has raised £10 million to date to pay for the work and is continuing its efforts to raise a further £3 million to ensure that the future of the property is secure.

The paintings will eventually go on permanent display at Abbotsford following the completion of the historic home’s planned refurbishment in 2013.

Our director Stephen Deuchar said: “These atmospheric watercolours capture the beauty of Abbotsford and echo the mystery and romance of Sir Walter Scott’s writing. We’re delighted to have helped facilitate Phoebe Barrow’s generous gift which allows future generations to admire these precious works and appreciate their significance to this historic house.”

Phoebe Barrow’s grandfather bought the paintings in 1912 from the estate of a distant relative, John Taylor, founder of the Manchester Guardian. The original owner is understood to be Robert Cadell, Sir Walter Scott’s publisher.

Abbotsford will open for the new season from 14 March 2011 until 16 September 2011. For information on opening hours, visit www.scottsabbotsford.co.uk.

See images and further information on the two Turner watercolours via Art Saved