Norham Castle

Original Sold


  • Title: Norham Castle
  • Medium: Oil
  • Substrate: 10oz cotton canvas
  • Size: 100cm x 100cm
  • Style: Contemporary
  • Frame: Yes
  • Print available: Yes

David had never visited Norham Castle until he was asked to take part in a film for European ARTE tv focussing on JMW Turner’s 1797 tour of the North of England. The film, part of a series called Vistas Of Longing, was to follow Turner’s journey from Harewood House nr Harrogate to the Scottish Boarders and Norham Castle where David would make a painting of the subject famously painted by Turner.

Sadly, the film (link above) never really reached its potential and  turned into more of a travelogue but several pictures were made and foremost amongst them is Norham Castle.

Turner himself visited Norham at least three times – he returned in 1831 and on passing the castle in a coach he removed his hat and took a bow, at this his travelling companion, the publisher Robert Cadell, enquired as to the meaning of the gesture: ‘Oh’, was the reply, ‘I made a drawing or painting of Norham several years since. It took, and from that day to this and from that day to this I have had as much to do as my hands could execute’.

David says: It took some time to find the ideal spot from which to paint: Turner had painted from the English bank of the river Tweed but the view today is obscured by trees so I ended up on the Scottish side which not only gave a clearer view, but also allowed for increased drama with the glittering light on the foreground river.

Whilst this large oil was painted in the studio, I made several studies on the riverbank in pencil, watercolour and acrylic. It was a challenging day to paint outside with strong winds, occassional squalls of rain and fast changing light but often, overcoming these difficulties can add to the life of the finished paintings: blades of grass, seeds, insects etc become stuck to the surface and I often use the water available – in this case the river Tweed – to dilute my paints. Speed is of the essence too – you have to be quick to capture a scene as clouds race overhead obscuring the sun.

Additional information

Dimensions 97 × 97 cm
Purchase Options

Original, Print