Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Mast and Sails of a Thames Barge

c.1825

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

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 114 x 188 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D18636
Turner Bequest CCXII 32

Catalogue entry

This is a careful study of the mast, furled sails and rigging of a Thames barge, of the sort long common in Turner’s studies on the river. A good example is an 1805 watercolour showing Kew Bridge, with the masts of two barges side by side in similar configurations, from the Thames, from Reading to Walton sketchbook (Tate D05946; Turner Bequest XCV 42).
The present pencil drawing falls within a sequence of recto watercolour studies, and perhaps predates them; alternatively, Turner may have made it in connection with the scene on folio 33 recto (D18637), where similar barges are shown; see also folios 49 verso and 75 verso (D18655, D18684).
Verso:
Blank, save for a little watercolour offsetting from folio 33 recto opposite (D18637).

Matthew Imms
December 2014

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