J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Dorchester Abbey Church, from the River Thame 1805

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Dorchester Abbey Church, from the River Thame 1805
Turner Bequest XCV 29
Pencil on white wove paper, 258 x 371 mm
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘29’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘XCV 29’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
This is a right-hand page from the sketchbook. In so far as its subjects are identified, Dorchester marks the most westerly point in Turner’s tour along the Thames as he recorded it in the book. His sketch is taken from the River Thame, a shallow tributary of the Thames reachable only this far by boat from the main river. A bridge would be built near this spot, 1811–13. Hill thinks the drawing unsatisfactory as a view of the church and remains of the Augustinian abbey, since these are positioned to the left, but observes that Turner would have had to ‘abandon the river’ to find better aspects.1
Hill 1993, p.112.
Blank. Laid down.

David Blayney Brown
February 2009

How to cite

David Blayney Brown, ‘Dorchester Abbey Church, from the River Thame 1805 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, February 2009, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, December 2012, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-dorchester-abbey-church-from-the-river-thame-r1129965, accessed 17 January 2018.