Joseph Mallord William Turner

A Mill Wheel


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Chalk and graphite on paper
Support: 128 × 201 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest XCI 62

Catalogue entry

This wheel presumably belongs to a mill, and there is more machinery evidently from the same structure on folio 63 of the sketchbook (D05680). The low frontal view of the wheel and the mill building behind it, with an outhouse or door on the right and walls overgrown with creeper, has some resemblance to the Liber Studiorum plate Pembury Mill (for Turner’s drawing for this see Tate D08116; Turner Bequest CXVI O). This may be coincidental, but is worth mentioning in view of the origin of another Liber subject, Martello Towers, near Bexhill, Sussex, on folio 11 (D05628). Charles Turner’s plate of Pembury Mill was published in 1808 so if there is any connection the drawings must be earlier, perhaps from 1806 if, as suggested in the Introduction to the sketchbook, Turner combined his visit that year to William Frederick Wells at Knockholt with touring in Kent and Sussex. Pembury lies on a direct route from there to the coast. Wells was instrumental in the formation of the Liber project.
The leaf is stained.

David Blayney Brown
March 2011

Read full Catalogue entry


You might like

In the shop