Joseph Mallord William Turner

A Country Weir, with a Man Sitting on the Structure


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 79 × 101 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXXXI 22

Catalogue entry

As set out in the Introduction, this is one of a sequence running through the middle of this sketchbook showing a substantial rural weir with a fence-like wooden superstructure, populated by numerous adults and children engaged in or watching fishing. The location is unidentified. Here, a man nonchalantly balances on a rail above the turbulent water.
Technical notes:
This leaf and folio 23 (D27767, D27768) have been trimmed slightly at the fore-edge, in this case cutting off the second ‘2’ of the red ink page number. The top and fore-edge are darkened by dust or exposure, indicative of disturbance at some point, and there are signs of neat strengthening or repair work at the gutter. Both leaves appear to have been extracted, potentially for display, as shown by the consecutive red ink numbers inscribed on them, apparently by John Ruskin, in this case ‘995’ on the verso (D27766); for further discussion, see the Technical notes in the sketchbook’s Introduction.

Matthew Imms
April 2014

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