Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Garden and Villa at St Anne’s Hill, near Chertsey


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

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 116 x 222 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXXV 26

Catalogue entry

This view is from the garden towards Charles James Fox’s villa at St Anne’s Hill, near Chertsey in Surrey. It was the basis of a vignette watercolour (Tate D27687; Turner Bequest CCLXXX 1701),1 engraved for page 91 of the 1834 edition of Samuel Rogers’s Poems (Tate impression: T06167)2 set within the text of the long poem ‘Human Life’; the engraving is generally referred to as St Anne’s Hill (I). Among the trees to the left of the house, which does not survive, is Fox’s classical Temple of Friendship, which does. The statue drawn horizontally at the bottom left appears to be the same as that shown towards the right in the main drawing. For more on Fox, St Anne’s Hill and Rogers, see the sketchbook’s Introduction. There is a similar view on folio 27 recto (D20591).
Rogers addressed his late friend Fox in a passage of ‘Human Life’ (pages 91–2):
Thee at St. Anne’s so soon of Care beguiled,
Playful, sincere, and artless as a child!
Thee, who wouldst watch a bird’s nest in the spray,
Through the green leaves exploring, day by day.
How oft from grove to grove, from seat to seat,
With thee conversing in thy loved retreat,
I saw the sun go down!
Turner introduced a chair and books on the lawn in the foreground of the vignette. Another engraving, St Anne’s Hill (II), was based on the drawing on folio 25 verso opposite (D20588).
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.441 no.1188, reproduced, as ‘St. Anne’s Hill I (the house)’.
See also Omer 1975, p.[25], Wilton 1975, p.113, and Omer 1976, p.29.
Technical notes:
As in most other cases in this sketchbook, John Ruskin’s customary red ink page number is not immediately apparent adjacent to the later stamp.

Matthew Imms
August 2014

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