Joseph Mallord William Turner

Garrick’s Villa and the Temple to Shakespeare at Hampton, from across the River Thames; a Wooded Thames View; Women and Children

c.1827

View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 110 x 185 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D20764
Turner Bequest CCXXVII 21

Catalogue entry

The view at the top is to the north across the River Thames from Hurst Park, East Molesey, to the domed and porticoed rotunda of the Temple to Shakespeare, a garden feature in the grounds of Garrick’s Villa at Hampton about a mile up the Thames from Hampton Court. The house was home to the renowned actor David Garrick (1717–1779) from the 1750s and subsequently redeveloped for him in Palladian style by Robert Adam (1728–1792).1 There is a more detailed thumbnail study of the ‘temple’ immediately below, with numerical notes of the arrangement of its columns from the side and front. Ian Warrell identified this view and the less detailed rendering on folio 20 verso (D20762; Turner Bequest CCXXVII 20) in relation to a ‘colour beginning’ of the scene (Tate D25145; Turner Bequest CCLXIII 23); see also folio 19 verso (D20761).2 The wooded scene at the foot of the page is presumably another Thames view in the vicinity, and the two women in large bonnets accompanied by children with hoops noted separately on the right were presumably observed nearby.
The ‘temple’ remains in good repair, but the house was damaged by fire in 2008.3 Despite Turner’s familiarity with the Thames in this area and his extensive depictions of nearby sites, sometimes in terms of their literary and historical associations,4 these pencil sketches and the subsequent slight colour study are the only identified explorations of the present subject. For other views in the Hampton Court area see under folio 2 verso (D20736).
1
See text and early engravings at ‘Garrick’s Villa’, The Twickenham Museum, accessed 28 October 2015, http://www.twickenham-museum.org.uk/detail.php?aid=210&cid=5&ctid=2; see also Garrick’s Temple to Shakespeare, accessed 28 October 2015, http://www.garrickstemple.org.uk/.
2
See Warrell 1991, p.47.
3
‘In pictures: Garrick’s Villa fire’, BBC, accessed 28 October 2015, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_pictures/7690829.stm.
4
See David Hill, Turner on the Thames: River Journeys in the Year 1805, New Haven and London 1993.
Technical notes:
As discussed in the sketchbook’s introduction, this leaf’s blank recto does not have a Tate ‘D’ accession number. It was prepared with a grey wash, and is inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘21’ and stamped in black ‘CCXXVII – 21’ at the bottom right.

Matthew Imms
November 2015

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