Joseph Mallord William Turner

The River Thames and Pangbourne Lock, with Lower Lock Gates Closed, Looking West Upstream, from under Whitchurch Bridge

1805

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 259 x 365 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D05920
Turner Bequest XCV 16

Catalogue entry

This was a right-hand page from the sketchbook. As Hill observes, the view here is taken from almost under Whitchurch Bridge, a toll bridge built in 1792, looking upstream, westwards, at the lock (now known as Whitchurch Lock) of which the lower gates are closed. Bold hatching indicates deep shadow, so Turner is looking into the light and this must be an evening view.1 Perhaps Pangbourne was an overnight stop, allowing a spell of fishing as well as drawing. The River Pang, which flows into the pool from the left, was noted for trout. There was a plan for Turner and his friend the architect John Soane, both keen anglers, to meet at Pangbourne for trout fishing in the first few days of September 1805.2 Hill remarks that Turner’s choice of view, ignoring the more attractive aspect towards Whitchurch, was ‘less than usually scenic’, suggesting that fishing was ‘more engrossing than the sketching’.3
1
Hill 1993, p.171.
2
Gillian Darley, John Soane: An Accidental Romantic, New Haven and London 1999, p.165.
3
Hill 1993, p.106.
Verso:
Blank

David Blayney Brown
February 2009

Read full Catalogue entry

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