Joseph Mallord William Turner

A Small Boat Beached on the Bank of a River among Wooded Hills


Not on display

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 174 × 125 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest XLII 22

Catalogue entry

This subject, largely in pen and black ink, is continued on folio 12 recto opposite (D01698; Turner Bequest XLII 23). Finberg, who reads the inscription on the other page as ‘Crick Howell’, suggests that this is perhaps a view on the River Usk near Crickhowell.1 See the general view of Crickhowell in the contemporary Dynevor Castle sketchbook (Tate D01502–D01503; Turner Bequest XL 23a–24).
The first of the two words of the inscription opposite is clearly ‘Avon’. If the second word is ‘Howell’, it does not correspond to the name of any recorded tributary of the Usk near Crickhowell. It seems more plausibly to read ‘River’, in which case Turner may simply have been noting that ‘avon’ is the Welsh word for ‘river’. A less likely explanation is that the phrase refers to the River Avon near Bristol, where Turner made drawings of shipping in the Gorge on this tour; see the Cyfarthfa sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest XLI). The scenery here, however, does not particularly resemble that of the Avon.

Andrew Wilton
March 2013

Finberg 1909, I, p.103.

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