Joseph Mallord William Turner

A Barn and Cottages

1792

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 215 x 276 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D00143
Turner Bequest XII N

Catalogue entry

Finberg tentatively identified the scene as Llandewi Skyrrid, that is to say, Skirrid Farm, near Llandewi Court, north of Abergavenny, with the hill of Ysgyryd Fawr beyond. He registered1 that after the Tate flood of 1928, washing of the sheet to remove water-stains obliterated the outline of the distant hill. Turner was apparently commissioned to make a finished watercolour of this subject for a Mr Brydges; see the inscription on the verso. Turner’s use of watercolour here is restricted to the grey colour trial at the lower left corner.
For various approaches to the finished work see Tate D00144, D00145 and D00181 (Turner Bequest XII O, P, XVII F). The colour trial is for the first of these. Turner was to revisit Abergavenny in 1798; see the Dynevor Castle sketchbook (Tate D01494, D01495; Turner Bequest XL 19a–20).
1
MS note, Tate catalogue files.
Verso:
Inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘Mr Brydges’; stamped in brown ink with Turner Bequest monogram. The inscription is in an unusually large-scale and florid copper-plate, resembling an elaborate pot-hook rather than intelligible words.

Andrew Wilton
April 2012

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