Joseph Mallord William Turner

A Wooded River Scene with a Bridge; a Classical Harbour Scene

c.1828–45

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 365 × 225 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D34856
Turner Bequest CCCXLIV 368

Catalogue entry

There are two landscapes here. The upper shows a wooded valley with a distant bridge of at least six arches, and may show an actual location or, like the harbour scene below with shipping and a bridge beneath a low sun, comprise rapid permutations of the classical landscape and seaport motifs of Claude Lorrain, a consistent influence on Turner (see the Introduction to this subsection).
Tate D34851–D34856 (Turner Bequest CCCXLIV 363–368) are all on two sides of a quartered single sheet, as discussed in the technical notes; the other quarters were also mainly used for landscape studies, as described under D34851, where there is also a note on dating.
Technical notes:
Tate D34851–D34856 (Turner Bequest CCCXLIV 363–368) are all on two sides of a single sheet folded into quarters, with the watermark ‘John Hall | 1828’ exactly at the centre; each averages approximately 213 x 183 mm of the overall dimensions. Finberg listed them individually as ‘folded’,1 albeit without noting their all being on one sheet; once folded firmly into four, they were lightly folded twice more, leaving three parallel creases across each quarter.
In terms of the whole sheet when aligned vertically, D34851–D34854 (CCCXLIV 363–366) are on one side, at the top left, bottom left, top right and bottom right relative to each other. D34855 (CCCXLIV 367) and the present work are on the other side, at the bottom left and right relative to each other, the upper half being blank. D34855 is on the other side of D34854, and the present work on the other side of D34852 (CCCXLIV 364). The sheet is almost ripped in half by a jagged tear which does not affect this quarter.
There is extensive spattered brown staining across this part of the sheet.

Matthew Imms
August 2016

1
See Finberg 1909, II, p.1143.

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