Joseph Mallord William Turner

A Wooded ?River Scene


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 111 × 190 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCIV 40 a

Catalogue entry

Inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation, this atmospheric chiaroscuro study in black chalk shows a woodland glade, apparently with the water of a river or pond in the foreground. A white shape carefully outlined towards the right suggests a stone bust or possibly the pier of a gatepost or wall. The setting may be a real one, or evoked by the scenery of the Thames Valley (see under folio 2 recto (D17755). The use of black chalk to create a strong chiaroscuro effect is unusual in Turner’s sketchbooks.
Technical notes:
The strong offsetting of chalk on the otherwise blank folio 41 recto opposite (D17832), heaviest in the areas corresponding to the three chalk studies on the recto of the present page (D17830) suggests that Turner was working in from the back of the book at this stage.

Matthew Imms
November 2014

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