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JMW Turner produced a large number of artworks based on the stunning structure of Kenilworth Castle, including a number of detailed sketches and several paintings.
He would spend a considerable amount of time seeking out the right spot from which to capture this huge building. There was a huge amount of detail to cover across the various parts of the castle itself, and then further detail in and around these large grounds. Several British institutions, such as the Tate, have collected up the different versions of works created in the vicinity of this castle and much has been published online. We have discovered some sketchbooks from his career in which he created several detailed drawings of elements of the castle, perhaps trying to find the right angle for a more complex oil painting to follow soon after.
Kenilworth Castle can be found in the English county of Warwickshire and was designed and built over an extended period through the Norman and Tudor period. It has actually inspired a good number of artists, though mainly as a result of Turner's own contributions. Visitors to this location today will find the castle well maintained and also joined by some impressive gardens, which together represent a great day out for anyone visiting for the day. It is pleasing to find that the inspiration for a Turner painting has been kept in good condition and is still open to visitors today. In truth, it does not look to have aged in the years that have passed since and one can feel a part of Turner's career even today, by visiting this location and trying to find the exact spot of this painting.
We find the main structure of the castle draped in light from above, with a blue sky that also contains a spread of light cloud. This enables us to enjoy every last detail of the building work, with its complex series of rooms with some areas of the castle seemingly destroyed. There is then a drop downwards to the rest of the scene, with the castle clearly having been built on a mound for protection purposes. In the foreground we then find a good number of cattle going about their business, casually enjoying this flat part of the scene, with farmland is being used by local farmers. Turner would spend huge amounts of time on his larger compositions, going into incredible detail right across the canvas, which perhaps inspired the later Hudson River School, with the likes of Bierstadt, Church and Moran doing similar within their own work.