Joseph Mallord William Turner, 'Cassiobury: The House Seen in the Distance from the West, across the Park' 1804-5

Joseph Mallord William Turner
Cassiobury: The House Seen in the Distance from the West, across the Park 1804-5
Pencil on paper
support: 335 x 433 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856

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Drawn from Turner

Alice Andrews

Alice Andrews works at Tate in the Membership and Ticketing department. She trained as an artist at Falmouth College of Art and Winchester School of Art where she gained a BA in Painting in 2003. She has just completed an MA in Art Theory at Goldsmiths College and she now combines her practice, which is currently concerned with aspects of drawing technique, with critical writing. She has exhibited her work at Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Hanbrinker Hotel, Amsterdam, as well as in London and Southampton.

After Turner from Fonthill Sketchbook [Finberg XLVII], Cassiobury: The House Seen in the Distance from the West across the Park 1804-5

Alice Andrews
After Turner from Fonthill Sketchbook [Finberg XLVII], Cassiobury: The House Seen in the Distance from the West across the Park 1804–5

John Bird, artist  

John Bird is a Doncaster born artist, who as well as painting many scenes of his home town and county of Yorkshire has travelled all over Britain painting scenes of town and places. John paints for English Heritage, The English Tourist Board, The National Trust and the Wild Life Trust. A piece of his work was presented to the Governor of Hong Kong. 

John Bird After Turner from Fonthill Sketchbook [Finberg XLVII], Cassiobury: The House Seen in the Distance from the West, across the Park 1804-5

John Bird
After Turner from Fonthill Sketchbook [Finberg XLVII], Cassiobury: The House Seen in the Distance from the West, across the Park 1804–5

Susannah Flack, BA student, Chelsea College of Art and Design  

Susannah Flack graduated from the BA Fine Art (Painting course at Chelsea College of Art & Design in June 2006. 

Susanna Flack after Turner from Fonthill Sketchbook [Finberg XLVII], Cassiobury: The House Seen in the Distance from the West, across the Park 1804-5

Susanna Flack
After Turner from Fonthill Sketchbook [Finberg XLVII], Cassiobury: The House Seen in the Distance from the West, across the Park 1804–5

Rose Jenner, BA student, Chelsea College of Art and Design  

Rose Jenner is currently a final year student on the BA Fine Art (Painting) course at Chelsea College of Art & Design. 

Rose Jenner After Turner from Fonthill Sketchbook [Finberg XLVII], Cassiobury: The House Seen in the Distance from the West, across the Park 1804-5

Rose Jenner
After Turner from Fonthill Sketchbook [Finberg XLVII], Cassiobury: The House Seen in the Distance from the West, across the Park 1804–5

Christopher Le Brun RA, artist  

Christopher Le Brun RA. is an artist whose work encompasses painting, sculpture, printmaking and drawing. He studied at the Slade School of Fine Art (1970-74) and at Chelsea School of Art (1974-5). In 1987 he received the DAAD award from the German government, living and working in Berlin for a year. He was a trustee of the Tate from 1990-1995 and the National Gallery from 1996-2003. He was the Royal Academy’s first Professor of Drawing from 2000-2002. He is currently a trustee of the Prince’s Drawing School. 

Christopher Le Brun After Turner from Fonthill Sketchbook [Finberg XLVII], Cassiobury: The House Seen in the Distance from the West, across the Park 1804-5

Christopher Le Brun
After Turner from Fonthill Sketchbook [Finberg XLVII], Cassiobury: The House Seen in the Distance from the West, across the Park 1804–5

I simply tried to copy this drawing. I suspect Turner was searching for the composition, as the likely subject, the house, is faint and remote. 

I found the drawing remarkable for its evenness of attention. Hardly any part is favoured or exaggerated, everything is understated. The result seems like a faithful topography, calm and unfussed, with a steady rhythm. You sense that his great power as a picture maker is present but not called on. 

A convincing urgency or rhythm, of course, is the last thing achievable in a copy, since where Turner’s eye was flooded with daylight and colour, I have only his time-worn lines on paper for a model. 

The lesson of the copy? Perhaps that the pressure to make work decisively aesthetic should occasionally be resisted - for truth’s sake.