Joseph Mallord William Turner

A Midlands Valley with a Bridge and Buildings Beyond


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 78 × 110 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXL 35 a

Catalogue entry

This scene remains unidentified, but is presumably in the Midlands given identified adjacent subjects. Inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation, it shows a bridge with at least five arches beyond trees in the middle distance, with the low buildings of a town or village on the left and a building or small group of buildings on the wooded skyline towards the right. There appears to be a separate study of part of the bridge at the bottom left. Turner’s notes are effectively indecipherable. There are comparable views of the bridge on the Thames at Richmond with Richmond Hill beyond in the earlier Richmond Hill; Hastings to Margate sketchbook (Tate D10445–D10447; Turner Bequest CXL 19, 19a, 20) and the Aesacus and Hesperie sketchbook (Tate D13795, D13796; Turner Bequest CLXIX 28a–29), but details differ and the resemblance is presumably fortuitous.
Finberg bracketed this page with folio 36 recto opposite (D22389), his usual indication of a double-page drawing, but the two sketches appear to be on different scales and to show different places, although there may be a slight continuation of the buildings at the centre left of the present study onto the other page.
Technical notes:
This leaf is affected by the extensive pale brown, mottled staining which extends throughout this particular gathering (folios 31–42; D22379–D22402) and also folios 30 and 43 recto and verso (D22377, D22378, D22403, D22404), as discussed in the Technical notes to the sketchbook’s Introduction.

Matthew Imms
August 2013

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