Joseph Mallord William Turner

The London Bridge Foundation Stone Ceremony: The Marquee beside Old London Bridge, with Boats


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

Watercolour on paper
Support: 113 x 187 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXIII 7

Catalogue entry

The marquee erected over the coffer-dam around the site of the southernmost pier of the new London Bridge, for the foundation stone ceremony held on the riverbed on 15 June 1825, is shown from the south bank of the River Thames, with a rough indication of the tower of St Magnus the Martyr’s Church beyond to the left. There appear to be brief notes, perhaps of colour, to the right of the large flags flying over the marquee. It is unclear whether the boats and figures towards the right formed an integral part of the scene or were observed as separate details. Compare the view on the verso (D18719).
The ceremony and other studies relating to it at the beginning and end of this sketchbook are discussed in the Introduction.

Matthew Imms
December 2014

Read full Catalogue entry