Joseph Mallord William Turner

A Wooded Landscape, Perhaps on or near the River Brent


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 87 x 117 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXIV 28

Catalogue entry

As set out in the Introduction, there are various landscape studies in this sketchbook, occupying several pages from here to folio 38 recto (D08010), and from folios 70 recto to 73 recto (D08051–D08056). The last of the earlier sketches show the River Brent, north-west of London, which merges with the Grand Union Canal at Hanwell, traditionally the main subject of the second grouping.
The present drawing may have been made in the same neighbourhood, perhaps along the riverbank. Its composition and somewhat overgrown, claustrophobic mood is, fortuitously or not, comparable with the backwater setting of Pan and Syrinx, a mythological subject of about 1822, etched for Turner’s Liber Studiorum series but not developed as an engraving or published; the watercolour study is in the British Museum, London,1 while Tate holds a facsimile of the etching (Tate A01151) and a later interpretation by Sir Frank Short (Tate T05065).
See Kim Sloan, J.M.W. Turner. Watercolours from the R.W. Lloyd Bequest in the British Museum, London 1998, p.150; Alexander J. Finberg, The History of Turner’s Liber Studiorum with a New Catalogue Raisonné, London 1924, pp.319–21 no.80, with the watercolour reproduced p.[320]; and Gillian Forrester, Turner’s ‘Drawing Book’: The Liber Studiorum, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London 1996, pp.16, 144 no.80, with the watercolour, no.80 i, reproduced.

Matthew Imms
January 2012

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