Joseph Mallord William Turner
Capriccio of the Thames at Isleworth, with the Pavilion at Syon 1805

Artwork details

Capriccio of the Thames at Isleworth, with the Pavilion at Syon
From Wey, Guildford Sketchbook
Turner Bequest XCVIII
Date 1805
Dimensions Support: 117 x 182 mm
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest XCVIII 12
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Catalogue entry

See comment to folio 11 of the sketchbook (D06195), depicting Isleworth riverside scenery of which this is a classical variation. Edward Croft-Murray, in pencil annotations to a copy of Finberg in Tate’s Library, recognised that it was ‘Based on Isleworth motifs’. Here the view is more idealised, especially on the left; a mountain has sprung up in the distance and boats on the river have an antique look, a trend continued in compositions following on folios 13 and 14 (D06197, D06198). Of this group of four Isleworth studies, the present example is closest to the Isleworth plate for the Liber Studiorum (see especially Tate D08163; Turner Bequest CXVIII I), with two clumps of trees to the right of Robert Mylne’s Pavilion in Syon Park. However, neither this drawing nor the plate are literal views, and here a building based on All Saints’ Church at Isleworth appears on the left.

David Blayney Brown
July 2008

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