Turner’s treatment of landscape, closely studied from life, is rich with literary, historical and patriotic allusions. He described this work as a ‘Pastoral’. The scene is near the ‘Jew’s Harp’ tea garden in London’s Regent’s Park.
Blake rarely drew from nature. As far as we know, he never saw ‘England’s mountains green’ that he refers to in Jerusalem. In the illuminated book also called Jerusalem Blake mentions the same spot in the context of innocence, its loss and then the final redemption of England: ‘The Jews-harp-house... The Ponds where Boys to bathe delight’.
Gallery label, December 2004