Joseph Mallord William Turner

A Steep Hillside with a Mountain Stream


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Gouache, graphite and watercolour on paper
Support: 538 × 378 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest XXXVI W

Catalogue entry

The location of this view is not known, though the composition has much in common with the drawing that Turner made looking up Church Beck above Coniston Water in his Tweed and Lakes sketchbook (Tate D01059; Turner Bequest XXXV 57), which became the basis of the oil painting Morning amongst the Coniston Fells, Cumberland, exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1798 (Tate N00461).1 A later work that adopts this upright format with high horizon, as well as the brooding atmosphere, is Dolbadern Castle, North Wales (Royal Academy, London)2 which Turner exhibited at the Academy in 1800 and presented as his Diploma work. The view is more constricted in the present drawing, however, and the skyline with its well differentiated trees is relatively close. The handling of watercolour is very broad and energetic, and the study may date from some months after the North of England tour. Compare the technique of another broadly conceived Lake District subject (Tate D01106; Turner Bequest XXXVI L).
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984, pp.3–4 no.5, pl.6 (colour).
Ibid., pp.9–10 no.12, pl.7 (colour).
Blank; stamped in brown ink with Turner Bequest monogram.

Andrew Wilton
January 2013

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