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

Joseph Mallord William Turner The River Thames, Caversham Bridge and Reading from the North-West; Caversham Church to the Left 1805

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
The River Thames, Caversham Bridge and Reading from the North-West; Caversham Church to the Left 1805
D05905
Turner Bequest XCV 1
Pencil touched with watercolour on white wove paper, 259 x 366 mm
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘1’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘XCV 1’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
This was a right-hand page from the sketchbook. It is one of four drawings of Caversham Bridge from the book; see also D05913, D05942, D05945; Turner Bequest XCV 9, 38, 41. The bridge appears in the middle distance, as part of an expansive, wooded panorama from elevated ground near Caversham looking downstream towards Sonning and Shiplake. The view was well known to picturesque tourists. At left stands the Norman tower of St Peter’s Church, Caversham and in the distance to right is Reading with the towers of St Lawrence’s and St Mary’s and the spire of St John’s Churches.
Noting the precision of the drawing, one of the most meticulously worked in the book, Hill remarks that Turner ‘must have sat for hours to have traced the details so carefully’.1 Of the other drawings cited above, D05942 is almost as detailed, but is taken from further to the left, from near the top of the hill on the Wallingford road, with St Peter’s to the right. D05913, a slighter sketch, has the church again to the left, but from further away and lower down the slope to the river.
1
Hill 1993, p.104.
Verso:
Blank. Laid down.

David Blayney Brown
January 2009

How to cite

David Blayney Brown, ‘The River Thames, Caversham Bridge and Reading from the North-West; Caversham Church to the Left 1805 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, January 2009, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, December 2012, http://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-the-river-thames-caversham-bridge-and-reading-from-the-north-r1129936, accessed 20 April 2014.