Joseph Mallord William Turner

?Richmond Hill and Bridge

c.1828–9

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

Medium
Graphite and watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 357 x 488 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D25198
Turner Bequest CCLXIII 76

Catalogue entry

This relatively pedestrian colour study has been compared by Eric Shanes to the watercolour Richmond Hill and Bridge of about 1828–9 (British Museum, London),1 engraved in 1832 for the Picturesque Views in England and Wales (Tate impressions: T04581, T04582).2 The finished design shows crowds of elegant picnickers in the foreground meadows on the Twickenham bank of the Thames, with a view south across Richmond Bridge to the town and Richmond Hill beyond. The level foreground here, with a hint of the arches of a bridge beyond, the distant hill and the trees to the right all roughly correspond with features in the watercolour.
Turner had a long association with the Richmond upon Thames area,3 and exhibited his oil View of Richmond Hill and Bridge in 1808 (Tate N00557).4 There are drawings of the view from the late 1810s, in the Richmond Hill; Hastings to Margate sketchbook (Tate D10445–D10447; Turner Bequest CXL 19, 19a, 20) and the Aesacus and Hesperie sketchbook (Tate D13795, D13796; Turner Bequest CLXIX 28a–29). Shanes has also suggested Tate D36329 (CCCLXV 38) as a related study,5 but this has since been identified as a ‘colour beginning’ for a watercolour of about 1832, Palace of La Belle Gabrielle (private collection).6
For colour studies of the Thames from Richmond Hill, see Tate D25471 and D25509 (Turner Bequest CCLXIII 348, 385). See also the introductions to the present subsection of identified subjects and the overall England and Wales ‘colour beginnings’ grouping to which this work has been assigned.
1
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.397 no.833, pl.190.
2
Shanes 1997, pp.96, 104.
3
See David Hill, Turner on the Thames: River Journeys in the Year 1805, New Haven and London 1993, pp.53–62 and in general.
4
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984, p.56 no.73, pl.83.
5
Shanes 1997, p.97.
6
Wilton 1979, p.424 no.1049.
Verso:
Blank (laid down and not inspected).

Matthew Imms
March 2013

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