Joseph Mallord William Turner

Rosehill Park

c.1816

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

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 129 x 205 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D10392
Turner Bequest CXXXIX 33 a

Catalogue entry

Drawn with the sketchbook inverted and continued on folio 34 (D10393) and to the right on folio 32 verso (D10390), this is Turner’s most detailed drawing of John Fuller’s house, Rosehill (now Brightling) Park. As well as his notes about the front door, Turner has sketched some further details of the architecture around the main drawing. The view shows the rather severe neo-classical additions to the earlier house made by Robert Smirke, 1810–12. As Finberg recognised, the drawing served as the basis for the watercolour Rosehill, Sussex (British Museum, London)1 made for Fuller about 1816. Described by Eric Shanes as an ‘unassuming architectural elevation’,2 this nevertheless complemented Turner’s earlier watercolour of the surrounding estate (Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge)3 and the oil painting showing the house in the far distance (private collection).4 Turner gave plenty of space to the gardens created for Fuller by Humphry Repton, taking his cue from the drawing where, in the continuation on D10393, he notes ‘Laurel’ and ‘Gravel Path’.
There is a splash or trial of pink wash at bottom right on this leaf and of blue on D10393, presumably made as Turner worked on his watercolour.
Now called Brightling Park, the mansion has been much reduced in size. There are other drawings of the building dating from 1810 in the earlier Hastings sketchbook (Tate D07689, D07695; Turner Bequest CXI 61, 65).

David Blayney Brown
May 2011

1
Wilton 1979, p.349 no.438.
2
Eric Shanes, Turner in 1066 Country, exhibition catalogue, Hastings Museum and Art Gallery, Hastings 1998, p.17.
3
Wilton 1979, p.349 no.432.
4
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984, p no.211 (pl. ).

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