Joseph Mallord William Turner
Battersea Church and Bridge, with Chelsea Beyond ?1797

Artwork details

Artist
Title
Battersea Church and Bridge, with Chelsea Beyond
Date ?1797
Medium Graphite and watercolour on paper
Dimensions Support: 201 x 327 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D00857
Turner Bequest XXXII A
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Catalogue entry

The majority of Turner’s copy-drawings are of generalised Picturesque compositions, occasionally incorporating identifiable topographical elements. This sheet is different in so far as it shows a clearly identifiable place, although it is executed in the broad, unspecific manner of the other copy-drawings.
The Bequest includes remarkably few London views, given that Turner lived there, in one location or another, all his life. This drawing derives special interest from the fact that it includes, at the extreme left, the row of houses in which Turner himself was to live much later in his life. Battersea Church, on the right, is visible from the windows of his house and he is supposed to have painted sunset skies from the gazebo or bay-window built into the west end of the church.
A watercolour of about 1796 showing the view looking across the Thames from the Battersea shore is on a private collection (with Andrew Clayton-Payne, London, 2009). Other topographically precise copy-drawings are the views of Pontypridd Bridge (Tate D00843, D00864; Turner Bequest XXXI A, XXXII H).
The verso is D41458.

Andrew Wilton
April 2012

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