This is a preparatory study for the same composition as Tate D01909 (Turner Bequest XLIV g), which approaches the identical view in terms of dramatic chiaroscuro rather than the translucent washes employed here. The view is taken from a point facing the house and church across the lake; see Turner’s drawing of the opposite view (Tate D01907; Turner Bequest XLIV e), which may have been intended as a subject in the same series. The portico beside the lake is that of the 1745 Temple of Flora, by Henry Flitcroft; just visible over the spur of the hill in the centre of the view is the tower of St Peter’s Church.1
For Stourhead in general see Kenneth Woodbridge, Landscape and Antiquity: Aspects of English Culture at Stourhead, 1718–1838, Oxford 1970.
Blank; some grey washes transferred from another surface. These may relate to the second of the two studies of this composition (Tate D01909; Turner Bequest XLIV g).