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Turner's first attempt to paint sketches in oil outdoors or before the motif took place around Knockholt in Kent at the turn of the century. His sketches of Knockholt and nearby Chevening Park are usually associated with his visits to his friend W.F.Wells, who had a cottage at Knockholt. They are experimental, generally executed in mixed media, including oil, over sized paper - the preferred surface for outdoor painting during the eighteenth century. The subjects are cottage interiors, related to fashionable 'Picturesque' taste, or tree studies announcing a more unaffected view of pastoral nature as well as a memory of the woodland subjects of Gainsborough, whose drawings Wells collected and engraved.

August 2004