Joseph Mallord William Turner

Interior of a Church during Holy Communion

1796–7

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

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Gouache, graphite and watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 113 x 93 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D01143
Turner Bequest XXXVII 26

Catalogue entry

The composition continues across folio 14 recto opposite (D01144; Turner Bequest XXXVII 27). A Liber Studiorum plate, Interior of a Church, was based on this design (see Tate A01146–A01147).1 J.P. Heseltine2 plausibly suggested that the church is St Leonard’s, Heston. This was a part of the world familiar to Turner from an early age since he had spent part of his boyhood in the neighbouring town of Brentford, where his mother’s brother was a butcher. He attended John White’s school there, and a friend from those days, Henry Scott Trimmer (1778–1859),3 was to become vicar of Heston. Other views of what may be the same interior are on folios 15 verso–19 recto (D01147–D01154; Turner Bequest XXXVII 30–37); however, see the entry for D01147 which suggests that, if the church in D01147–D01148 (Turner Bequest XXXVII 30–31) is the same, it is apparently near the sea and may be Margate.

Andrew Wilton
September 2012

1
Alexander J. Finberg, The History of Turner’s Liber Studiorum with a New Catalogue Raisonné, London 1924, pp.277–80 no.70.
2
Undated manuscript note in interleaved copy Finberg 1909, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, vol.I, opposite p.80.
3
See James Hamilton, ‘Trimmer, the Revd Henry Scott (1778–1859)’ in Evelyn Joll, Martin Butlin and Luke Herrmann (eds.), The Oxford Companion to J.M.W. Turner, Oxford 2001, pp.343–4.

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