Joseph Mallord William TurnerThe River Thames with Isleworth Ferry 1805

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Artwork details

The River Thames with Isleworth Ferry
Date 1805
MediumGraphite and watercolour on paper
Dimensionssupport: 260 x 370 mm
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest XCV 45
View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Catalogue entry

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
The River Thames with Isleworth Ferry 1805
Turner Bequest XCV 45
Pencil and watercolour on white wove paper, 260 x 370 mm
Stamped in black ‘XCV 45’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
This is a right-hand page from the sketchbook, and a similar view to Tate DO5916; Turner Bequest XCV 12 from the same source. Both are of the Thames near Isleworth ferry and Windsor Castle cannot appear in the right distance in this view, as Finberg supposed. The brick wall in the right foreground appears to be the same as in the view of Turner’s Sion (or Syon) Ferry House also from the sketchbook (D05952; Turner Bequest XCV 48); it must be the retaining wall at the mouth of The Duke of Northumberland’s River whose water had been diverted into Syon Park. The elegant curving tree shown near it in D05916 and D05952 is either omitted or just out of sight, however.
Hill notes that here the tide is lower than in D05916, and that as the shadows (cast very strongly by three figures at the river’s edge) indicate the sun low in the sky to the east, it was taken in the morning. The weather seems to threaten a shower. Compare also the watercolour of a similar view, with rainbow, in the contemporary Hesperides (1) sketchbook (Tate D05837; Turner Bequest XCIII 40a). In each of these views the foreground is occupied by barges and ferries.

David Blayney Brown
February 2009

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