Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Garden at St Anne’s Hill, near Chertsey

c.1827

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: 116 x 222 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D20588
Turner Bequest CCXXV 25

Catalogue entry

This view is in the garden of Charles James Fox’s villa at St Anne’s Hill, near Chertsey in Surrey. It was the basis of a vignette watercolour (Tate D27688; Turner Bequest CCLXXX 171),1 engraved for page 214 of the 1834 edition of Samuel Rogers’s Poems (Tate impressions: T05123, T06169)2 as the tail-piece to ‘Lines Written in Westminster Abbey, October 10, 1806’ (‘After the Funeral of the Right Hon. Charles James Fox’); the engraving is generally referred to as St Anne’s Hill (II). For more on Fox, St Anne’s Hill and Rogers, see the sketchbook’s Introduction.
In the vignette, the broad view here was condensed into a squarish composition with the left-hand trellis brought nearer to the urn, and the right-hand tree trunk replaced by more trellis with the wire framework of an arch overhead; a curved seat was introduced in the foreground within the arbour, with books and a parasol to suggest a human presence, and flowers growing up the trellis. (See also the partial elevation of an urn and pedestal on folio 29 recto (D20593; Turner Bequest CCXXV 29.) As Rogers put it in his poem (page 213):
When in retreat he laid his thunder by,
For lettered ease and calm Philosophy,
Blest were his hours within that silent grove,
Where still his god-like spirit deigns to rove ...
Another engraving, St Anne’s Hill (I), was based on the drawing on folio 26 recto opposite (D20589).
Unusually, this leaf is stamped with its Turner Bequest number on the verso (i.e. the present face). The otherwise blank recto is inscribed in brown ink ‘61’ within a circle at the bottom right, in red ink ‘[?70] 970’ at the bottom left, possibly by John Ruskin, in connection with the loan of the page to Oxford, and also in ?blue pencil ‘202’ at the top centre (partly erased).

Matthew Imms
August 2014

1
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.443 no.1201, reproduced, as ‘St. Anne’s Hill II (the garden)’.
2
See also Omer 1975, p.[25], Wilton 1975, p.114, and Omer 1976, p.29.

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