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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Old London Bridge ?1824

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 35 Recto:
Old London Bridge ?1824
Turner Bequest CCV 35
Pencil on white wove paper, 98 x 162 mm
Watermark ‘1821’
Inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘9 Blocks’, ‘Balstrade [sic] | 3 1 5 1 3 1’ and ‘same’ towards top right, and ’14 4 12 4 6 13 13 4’ at intervals above bridge, centre to centre right
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘35’ top left, upside down
Stamped in black ‘CCV – 35’ top left, upside down
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation, this sketch, continuing a little way to the right on folio 34 verso opposite (D17893), shows the downstream side of Old London Bridge from the east; various numbers above indicate details including sequences of balusters. The section further to the left from this viewpoint is shown on the verso (D17895). Compare the arches on folio 2 verso (D17837) and the elevation on folios 32 verso–33 recto (D17889–D17890).
There are strokes of grey watercolour on the opposite page, probably relating to the 1824 watercolour known as The Port of London (Victoria and Albert Museum, London),1 engraved in 1827 as Old London Bridge and Vicinity (Tate impression: T06070); see the overall Introduction to the present Thames-related section. The bridge is seen from a similar angle in that composition, and Turner may have tested the colour while referring to this page as he worked.

More than half the drawings in this sketchbook show the River Thames around the bridge, and are likely to date from 1824; see the book’s Introduction.

Matthew Imms
December 2014

Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.358 no.514, reproduced.

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘Old London Bridge ?1824 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, December 2014, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, April 2015, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-old-london-bridge-r1172608, accessed 26 April 2018.