209a. [N04663] Cassiobury Park: Reaping c. 1809
THE TATE GALLERY, LONDON (4663)
Oak, 35 7/16 × 48 (90 × 122)
Coll. Turner Bequest 1856; transferred to the Tate Gallery 1938.
Exh. R.A. 1974–5 (147).
Very similar to the large Thames sketches (Nos. 160–76) but painted on wood instead of canvas, this has hitherto been entitled ‘Windsor Forest: Reaping’ and dated c. 1807 and was catalogued in our first edition as No. 202; the building in the background had been variously identified as Windsor Castle and the Cranbourne Tower in Windsor Great Park. However, David Hill has identified the scene as Cassiobury Park near Watford, the home of George Capel-Coningsby, 5th Earl of Essex (1757–1859). The composition sketch in the British Museum (CXX-D) is a companion to that for Harvest Home (No. 209 [N00562]) and, as David Hill points out, the two pictures seem to have been intended as a pair on the theme of the harvest. Other sketches for this picture occur in the ‘Rivers’ sketchbook of c. 1807–8 (XCVI pp. 46, 61a–64a). (The compiler is greatly indebted to David Hill who, in a letter of 18 March 1984, gave him this new material on Nos. 209 [N00562] and 209a [N04663] and allowed him to publish it.)
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984