Joseph Mallord William Turner Llangollen from the East, with the Dee in the Foreground 1794–5

Artwork details

Artist
Title
Llangollen from the East, with the Dee in the Foreground
Date 1794–5
Medium Watercolour on paper
Dimensions Support: 171 x 210 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D00861
Turner Bequest XXXII E
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Catalogue entry

This is technically very similar to the large watercolour view of Valle Crucis (Tate D00703; Turner Bequest XXVIII R). Another watercolour view of Llangollen probably executed at the same time is in the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester (D 99.1892).
Technical notes:
Turner’s mount originally consisted of three sheets of paper glued together, on to the topmost of which his watercolour was stuck. During conservation in 1987 the sheets were separated. Each was discovered to bear a drawing in black chalk: on the reverse of the top sheet (that on to which the watercolour is still fixed), five schematic studies of a head (D41456); on each side of the second (middle) sheet, a rough drawing of a landscape with buildings; and on the third (bottom) sheet, studies of a nose and mouth in profile, and drawings of eyes. The first and last appear to have been copied from illustrations to a drawing manual; the two versions of the landscape may also have been copied. All are in a clumsy amateur hand, certainly not Turner’s own.
The back of the original bottom sheet of the mount is inscribed, possibly not in Turner’s hand, ‘Bad’ and stamped in brown ink with the Turner Bequest monogram.

Andrew Wilton
April 2012

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