Joseph Mallord William Turner

Virginia Water with the Chinese Fishing Temple Beyond


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

Graphite on paper
Support: 120 x 203 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXXXVIII 89 a

Catalogue entry

Inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation, the Chinese Fishing Temple (now gone) is seen on the north side of Virginia Water, with the entrance to Johnson’s Pond at the far right. The view continues westwards on folio 92 recto opposite (D22149; Turner Bequest CCXXXVIII 90).
The half-submerged form in the middle distance is a buoy, complete with a ring on its end, like those marked with St George’s crosses in the watercolour Virginia Water of about 1829 (private collection),1 one of two engraved for The Keepsake in 1830 (Tate impressions: T04618, T06141). In other respects the view on this page is comparable with that in the second watercolour of the same title (untraced)2 a head-on view from the south with Johnson’s Pond receding to the right of the pavilion (Tate impressions of engraving: T04616, T04617, T06140).
For other views around Virginia Water, see under folio 73 verso (D22113; Turner Bequest CCXXXVIII 71a).

Matthew Imms
August 2013

Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.359 no.519, pl.141 (colour).
Ibid., no.520.

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