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

Joseph Mallord William Turner The River Thames and Pangbourne Lock, with Lower Lock Gates Closed, Looking West Upstream, from under Whitchurch Bridge 1805

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
The River Thames and Pangbourne Lock, with Lower Lock Gates Closed, Looking West Upstream, from under Whitchurch Bridge 1805
D05920
Turner Bequest XCV 16
Pencil on white wove paper, 259 x 365 mm
Inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘Pangbourne Lock’ bottom right
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘16’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘XCV 16’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
This was a right-hand page from the sketchbook. As Hill observes, the view here is taken from almost under Whitchurch Bridge, a toll bridge built in 1792, looking upstream, westwards, at the lock (now known as Whitchurch Lock) of which the lower gates are closed. Bold hatching indicates deep shadow, so Turner is looking into the light and this must be an evening view.1 Perhaps Pangbourne was an overnight stop, allowing a spell of fishing as well as drawing. The River Pang, which flows into the pool from the left, was noted for trout. There was a plan for Turner and his friend the architect John Soane, both keen anglers, to meet at Pangbourne for trout fishing in the first few days of September 1805.2 Hill remarks that Turner’s choice of view, ignoring the more attractive aspect towards Whitchurch, was ‘less than usually scenic’, suggesting that fishing was ‘more engrossing than the sketching’.3
1
Hill 1993, p.171.
2
Gillian Darley, John Soane: An Accidental Romantic, New Haven and London 1999, p.165.
3
Hill 1993, p.106.
Verso:
Blank

David Blayney Brown
February 2009

How to cite

David Blayney Brown, ‘The River Thames and Pangbourne Lock, with Lower Lock Gates Closed, Looking West Upstream, from under Whitchurch Bridge 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-pangbourne-lock-with-lower-lock-gates-r1129951, accessed 28 August 2014.