Joseph Mallord William Turner

Skylines, Possibly in the Thames Valley, with Figures

c.1819

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

Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 87 x 119 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D13780
Turner Bequest CLXIX 18 a

Catalogue entry

The two sketches of skylines in the upper part of the drawing continue to the right on folio 19 recto opposite (D13781). There is also a group of at least three figures at the lower left of the present page: a standing woman in a bonnet stooping at the right of the group; the back view of a kneeling figure, apparently male, at the centre; and what seems to be a seated or kneeling woman to the left, apparently wearing a bonnet similar to that of the woman on the right.
The inscription may invoke the French Rococo artist J.-A. Watteau (1684–1721), who influenced some of Turner’s figure compositions including his large painting of England: Richmond Hill, on the Prince Regent’s Birthday, exhibited in 1819 (Tate N00502).1 The previous double-page drawing, on folios 17 verso–18 recto (D13778, D13779), appears to be a slight sketch of the view in that painting, and the sketches on folios 16 verso–17 recto (D13776, D13777) may also show the Thames Valley.

Matthew Imms
September 2013

1
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984, pp.106–7 no.140, Pl.145 (colour).

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