T04917 Newcastle-on-Tyne, for 'The Rivers of England' (‘River Scenery’) engr. T. Lupton (or? J.M.W. Turner)
Soft-ground etching 155 × 216 (6 1/8 × 8 1/2) on India paper laid on wove paper 301 × 432 (11 7/8 × 17); plate-mark 195 × 249 (7 11/16 × 9 13/16)
Purchased (Grant-in-Aid) 1987
Prov: ...; Mrs Rosalind Turner, from whom bt by Tate Gallery
Exh: Tate Gallery 1989–90 (6, repr.)
Lit: Rawlinson II 1913, no.753, soft-ground etching
This is one of two subjects from The Rivers of England for which soft-ground etchings are known to exist (the other subject is ‘Kirkstall Abbey’, see under T04810-T04811; and for a general history of the series, see under T04790-T04819). It seems most likely that the ‘Newcastle’ etching was executed by Thomas Lupton, who was responsible for the rest of the mezzotinted plate, just as it is also probable that the one which survives for ‘Kirkstall’ was etched by J. Bromley. However, Turner himself had occasionally practised soft-ground etching in his early years (see Lyles and Perkins 1989, pp.9, 27), and it is possible therefore that both outline designs were executed by him. The etchings seem to have been made as the basis of the design for working up later in mezzotint, in much the same way as outline etchings formed the first stage of the Liber Studiorum mezzotints.
Tate Gallery: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions 1986-88, London 1996