Collection Online

Dunstanburgh Castle, north-east coast of Northumberland, sunrise after a squally night
(1798)

Artist/s name
Medium
oil on canvas
Measurements
92.2 x 123.2 cm
Accession Number
p.313.3-1
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Gift of the Duke of Westminster, 1888
Gallery location
19th Century European Paintings Gallery
Level 2, NGV International

Frame

J. M. W. TURNER
Dunstanburgh Castle, north-east coast of Northumberland, sunrise after a squally night (1798)
Framemaker
Foord & Dickinson
London
Date
(after 1858)
Materials

The frame is made almost entirely of timber, though it is not carved from a solid section. It is composed of finely-carved lengths of running ornament assembled onto a basic profile. The separate parts of the construction are not easily identified; the intention is that the construction be read as a whole. The basic profile and each of the applied ornamental sections are mitred at the corners. The strap work at the centres and corners of the leading edge is composition. The structure is re-enforced on the reverse. The surface is gilded throughout with gold leaf, presenting a highly finished, satin sheen.

Condition

Good original condition, though in parts the gilding has been worn and restoration of the surface has taken place.

Dimensions
126.6 x 157.2 x 18.0 cm; sight 90.0 x 120.7 cm
J. M. W. TURNER
Dunstanburgh Castle, north-east coast of Northumberland, sunrise after a squally night (1798)
About

Though the label is now lost, it positively identified the maker of the frame. The painting is one of the first works dated before 1800 to enter the collection and thus has a particular value as a reference point for painters in Melbourne. The frame and the painting were separated in the mid-twentieth century but brought together again in 1992.1 The painting entered the collection with this frame. It is assembled from carved timber sections and is a remarkable example of a high level of craftsmanship in frame construction. It is unlikely to be the first framing of the painting and could date to any of the changes of ownership between 1858 and the time the painting was acquired.2 The company began as George Foord, was later E. M. Foord, then Foord and Dickinson in 1859, trading under this name until 1899.3

Notes

1 The existence of the frame was brought to our attention by Jennifer Phipps, who had noted its presence in the storeroom of the State Library of Victoria. The painting had been re-framed in a swept edge Louis XV revival frame.

2 The painting had five owners between 1857 and 1884. (Ursula Hoff, European Painters before 1800 in the National Gallery of Victoria, NGV, 1995, p. 298)

3 See Jacob Simon, The Art of the Picture Frame, National Portrait Gallery, London, 1996, p. 134. The company was favoured by Ruskin for framing Turner drawings in the National Gallery (London) in the 1850s. The progression of the company is also noted. See also: Paul Mitchell & Lynn Roberts, ‘Picture Framing: Notes on Turners Picture Frames’ in Museum Management and Curatorship, vol. 17, no. 3, September 1998 (published 2000).