Joseph Mallord William Turner

A River Bank with a Bridge and Trees

c.1825

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 114 × 188 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D18621
Turner Bequest CCXII 18

Catalogue entry

This is one of a sequence of twenty-five recto pages of watercolour landscape, sea and sky compositions between folio 9 recto (D18609) and folio 34 recto (D18638), many of which evoke quiet Thames Valley scenes with water in the foreground; for a checklist and general comments, see the sketchbook’s Introduction.
While the bridge and silhouetted trees are treated in slight but relatively conventional fashion, the rapidly applied pigment in the foreground has been skimmed across the paper surface and has gathered in globules before drying; Eric Shanes has noted of the colour studies in this sequence: ‘In many of them Turner took advantage of the slight resistance of the paper to certain pigments’ to create ‘speckling effects’ which can add ‘enormous sparkle’.1 Compare the effect of the drawn outlines of the classical bridge on folio 20 recto (D18623).
1
Eric Shanes, Turner’s Watercolour Explorations 1810–1842, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London 1997, p.65 under no.48.
Verso:
Blank

Matthew Imms
December 2014

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