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

Joseph Mallord William Turner The River Thames and Kew Bridge, with Brentford Eyot in the Foreground and Strand-on-Green Seen through the Arches: Low Tide 1805

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
The River Thames and Kew Bridge, with Brentford Eyot in the Foreground and Strand-on-Green Seen through the Arches: Low Tide 1805
D05946
Turner Bequest XCV 42
Pencil and watercolour on white wove paper, 256 x 364 mm
Stamped in black ‘XCV 42’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
This right-hand page has one of the most elaborate, carefully wrought watercolours from this sketchbook, raising the question of whether it was painted on the spot or in the studio over a pencil sketch made from the motif. Spender represents the latter view.1 On the other hand Hill, while comparing it to the more spontaneous ‘bravura’ of watercolours in the contemporary Hesperides (1) sketchbook (for example another view of Kew Bridge, Tate D05833; Turner Bequest XCIII 38a), notes that it also contains fleeting ‘real time’ effects such as shadow passing across the right-hand arches of the bridge and that the unfinished foreground looks as if it ‘was left off because there was insufficient time to complete it’. Hill considers there are ‘clear suggestions of its having been painted from nature’.2
Finberg says this leaf was exhibited as no.52 in the Third Loan Collection but Warrell gives it as no.150, noting that it had been withdrawn by 1909.
1
Spender and Fry 1980, p.61.
2
Hill 1993, p.45.
Verso:
Blank, but with numerous watercolour trials.

David Blayney Brown
February 2009

How to cite

David Blayney Brown, ‘The River Thames and Kew Bridge, with Brentford Eyot in the Foreground and Strand-on-Green Seen through the Arches: Low Tide 1805 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, February 2009, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, December 2012, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-the-river-thames-and-kew-bridge-with-brentford-eyot-in-the-r1129979, accessed 31 July 2014.