Joseph Mallord William TurnerA Thames Backwater with Windsor Castle in the Distance 1805

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Artwork details

A Thames Backwater with Windsor Castle in the Distance
Date 1805
MediumOil paint on canvas
Dimensionssupport: 867 x 1210 mm frame: 1140 x 1370 x 89 mm
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Not on display

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This is one of the group of sketches of Thameside scenes that Turner painted when he was about thirty, around 1805–6. They were painted very loosely over an unusual, pale ground, and were probably at least begun out-of-doors.

As well as being an artistic experiment, such pictures explore a patriotic imagery of the countryside. Here, as in Ploughing up Turnips (hanging on the wall to your left) Windsor Castle hovers inthe misty distance, a symbol of Britain’s royal heritage.

July 2004

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