As has long been recognised,1 this drawing relates to the painting The Seat of William Moffatt Esq., at Mortlake. Early (Summer’s) Morning, exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1826 (Frick Collection, New York);2 a companion piece, Mortlake Terrace, the Seat of William Moffatt, Esq. Summer’s Evening, was shown at the same venue the following year (National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC).3 The most precise study for the morning view is on folio 11 recto (D18725), where profuse foliage is shown.
In the present drawing, made in less detail with a softer or blunter pencil, the focus is on the house and the trunks and branches of trees in front and to the right of it, away from the River Thames, perhaps suggesting a return visit to the garden of ‘The Limes’ at Mortlake in the autumn or winter of 1825–6; see also the related view on folio 43 verso (D18772). As discussed in the sketchbook’s Introduction, in between is the jagged stub of another leaf, possibly with signs of a further drawing, which would presumably have been a Mortlake view.