Joseph Mallord William Turner

Landscape Composition with Ruined Castle and Distant Town

1798

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite and watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 262 x 366 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D00724
Turner Bequest XXIX S

Catalogue entry

Turner scholar C.F. Bell considered this a composition rather than the topographical record of an actual view,1 an interpretation that seems correct. The extensive, and rather implausible, town or even city visible beyond the foreground hill suggests that the design is related to the curious views of Blois and Tours, apparently partly copied from prints (Tate D00673, D00674; Turner Bequest XXVII L, M).

Andrew Wilton
March 2013

1
C.F. Bell (died 1966), undated MS note in a copy of Finberg 1909, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, I, p.60.

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