Joseph Mallord William Turner

View across Country, with River in Foreground


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

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite and watercolour on paper
Support: 257 x 178 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCII 1

Catalogue entry

Turner has rendered this placid scene with layered applications of translucent golden yellow and blue. The river, flowing towards the sea beyond, is in the immediate foreground, suggested with minimal zigzagging strokes of pale blue wash. Its banks are marked out summarily in layered shades of yellow-brown heightened with flecks and fine streaks of red and blue. The brushwork is vigorous, in places resisting the textured grain of the paper. The band of blue representing the sea has feathered slightly, producing a diffused and shimmering effect. The faintest pencil suggestion of what appears to be a headland can be seen on the horizon at the right. Similar markings are on the left close to the gutter of the sketchbook.
If the Turner scholar Ian Warrell is correct in his proposal that the drawings in the Ports of England sketchbook depict views of Dover and the Kentish ports of Folkestone and Portsmouth, the river depicted here could be the Dour which flows into Dover harbour or tributaries of the Stour or Medway.1
Ian Warrell, Turner: The Fourth Decade: Watercolours 1820–1830, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London 1991, p.35, no.17.
Inscribed in pencil ‘CCII–I’.

Alice Rylance-Watson
March 2013

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