Joseph Mallord William Turner

An Idealised Italianate Landscape with Trees beside Water

c.1828–9

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Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 310 x 489 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D25208
Turner Bequest CCLXIII 86

Catalogue entry

This elemental composition, probably the work of a few moments, is nevertheless evocative of trees reflected in still water, and seems to be the start of an idealised composition rather than a simple recollection of such a scene; compare several other muted but slightly more developed ‘colour beginnings’ with dark, isolated trees (Tate D25167, D25168, D25175, D25275; Turner Bequest CCLXIII 45, 46, 53, 153). D25167 and D25168 are also on 1828 paper,1 while the composition of the latter has been linked to the oil painting The Loretto Necklace, painted soon after Turner’s return from his second Italian tour of 1828–9 (Tate N00509).2 He had also been working on watercolours of Italian subjects shortly before the trip.3
1
See Shanes 1997, pp.95, 98.
2
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984, p.185 no.331, pl.334.
3
See Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.384 nos.726, 730, 731; also Shanes 1997, p.29
Technical notes:
The right-hand quarter of the sheet is rather darkened and marked.
Verso:
Blank; laid down.

Matthew Imms
August 2016

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