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This is one of a group of watercolour studies of Thames scenery that occupy some of the later folios of the sketchbook; others are 39 verso, 40 verso and 42 verso (D05835, D05837, D05840). See Introduction to the book for comment. Edward Croft-Murray, in a pencil annotation to a copy of Finberg in the Tate Library, was the first to recognise the subject as Kew. The new palace, designed by James Wyatt (begun 1801) appears on the right. Hill notes the similarities of viewpoint to a pencil and pen-and-ink sketch in the Studies for Pictures: Isleworth sketchbook (Tate D05505; Turner Bequest XC 11) and to a watercolour of about 1806–7 (Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester).1 The Whitworth watercolour curtails the trees on the left while adding anglers on the riverbank, and extends it to the right of the palace. It is more finished, but clearly based on the present study.
Andrew Wilton, The Life and Work of J.M.W. Turner, Fribourg 1979, p.346 no.413, as ‘Eton College, from the Thames’. For the correct identification see Craig Hartley, Turner Watercolours in the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester 1984, pp.37–8 no.29.