British School 18th century

Dedham Vale


View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Oil paint on canvas
Support: 215 x 266 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest LXX V

Display caption

This little oil, quite probably painted from nature, may be dated to the end of the eighteenth century. It belongs to the Turner Bequest, but is clearly not by Turner himself. Its style combines reminiscences of Richard Wilson in the creamily painted distances and of Alexander and J.R.Cozens in the fir trees on the left, with a more advanced looseness of touch and brightness of tone. As the subject is definitely Dedham, seen from Langham with the Stour estuary in the distance, it may have served to remind Turner of the characteristic imagery that Constable drew direct from nature.

Gallery label, August 2004

Catalogue entry

551a. [D04173] Landscape with Distant Church


Oil on canvas, trimmed irregularly, approx. 8 7/16 × 10 1/2 (21·5 × 26·5)

Coll. Turner Bequest 1856.

Lit. Finberg 1909, i, p. 176 (as ‘Church and Lane’); Ziff 1980, p. 167.

Despite having been selected for exhibition and numbering (782) by the National Gallery in the late 1860s this work does not seem to be by Turner; the forms and execution are altogether too delicate and precise. Andrew Wilton agrees with this verdict (verbal communication) though Ziff accepts the work as genuine.

Published in:
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984