Joseph Mallord William Turner

A River Scene, Possibly with a Bridge and Buildings

c.1829

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite and watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 325 x 562 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D40262

Catalogue entry

This side of the sheet is not mentioned in Eric Shanes’s Watercolour Explorations,1 survey of Turner’s ‘colour beginnings’, in which he speculates that the watercolour on the recto (D25243; Turner Bequest CCLXIII 121) may be a study for a view of Bedford of about 1829 in the England and Wales series.
The pencil work here is extremely loose, with buildings roughly indicated above the skyline at the centre. The pale forms on the right are possibly the receding piers of a stone bridge, suggesting a river rather than a lake. Finberg rendered the inscription as ‘Spot taken out by knife (?) of C.P.’, though its precise sense remains obscure.

Matthew Imms
March 2013

1
Eric Shanes, Turner’s Watercolour Explorations 1810–1842, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London 1997.

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