Joseph Mallord William Turner

?Landscape between Ghent and Bruges


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

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 78 x 118 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXVI 156 a

Catalogue entry

Dashed off in a matter of moments, this slight sketch shows a road lined with tall and slender trees with flat rural plains around. Though the landscape has no distinct features, the artist may be depicting the Flemish countryside. Turner’s inscriptions are rather difficult to read, however the word ‘Dewy’ appears to be decipherable, perhaps indicating that the sketch was taken on a fresh morning when the atmosphere was moist with dew. The sun, suggested with a small circle, is annotated as ‘Red’. The third inscription reading ‘B[...]ghm’ could represent ‘Berghem’, the alternative spelling of the surname of the Dutch Golden Age landscape painter Nicolaes Berchem (1620–1683). If this is correct, it may be that Turner was reminded of Berchem’s landscapes at the time of sketching this view, as he had been reminded of Augustus Wall Callcott’s paintings earlier on in the tour whilst sketching in northern France (Tate D19588; Turner Bequest CCXVI 19).

Alice Rylance-Watson
June 2014

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