Joseph Mallord William Turner

A River among Wild Rocks and Woods, with a Distant Valley


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Watercolour on paper
Support: 681 × 1009 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest LXX U

Display caption

While this view has never been identified, it has previously been associated with the Welsh subjects of 1799-1800. Its dark woodland foreground and airy sense of distance, however, perhaps relate it more readily to Turner's work for Beckford. The study seems particularly close to a drawing made at Fonthill (exhibited adjacently) and it may even be an intermediate colour sketch for the finished watercolour derived from this (Montreal Museum of Fine Arts). Both the Beckford commission and the Welsh tour inspired sublime qualities in Turner's work. This naturally engendered some degree of thematic and technical crossover in the two resulting groups of works, which were executed almost simultaneously.

Gallery label, September 2004

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