Joseph Mallord William Turner

Hammersmith Bridge from Barnes

c.1827

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 78 x 110 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D22442
Turner Bequest CCXL 62 a

Catalogue entry

Inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation, this sketch continues on folio 63 recto opposite (D22443). It shows Hammersmith Bridge from the Barnes bank of the River Thames, looking north-west to the waterfront at Hammersmith. There is a continuation of the bank at the top right. This sketch is notable for apparently omitting the deck of the bridge and showing a clear view of the houses beyond at that level, although the main cables are shown in place between the twin stone Tuscan archways. The two ‘w’s presumably indicate white reflections in the river. The significance of Turner’s ‘84’ and ‘28’ is unclear, as they do not appear to equate to the bridge’s dimensions.1
As discussed under folio 58 verso (D22434), where other Hammersmith views are mentioned, Turner’s studies of the bridge seem to have a rather provisional air, and may show it still under construction before its October 1827 opening.

Matthew Imms
August 2013

1
See ‘Hammersmith Bridge’, Where Thames Smooth Waters Glide, accessed 22 July 2013, http://thames.me.uk/s00240.htm.

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