Joseph Mallord William Turner

Ambleside Mill

1797

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 370 x 274 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D01053
Turner Bequest XXXV 51

Catalogue entry

A finished watercolour based on this drawing was exhibited at the RA in 1798 under the title Ambleside mill, Westmorland; it is now in the collection of the University of Liverpool Art Gallery.1 It follows the general composition and much of the detail of this drawing exactly, and with its concern for dilapidated industrial buildings and water tumbling among weeds and boulders is perhaps the most thoroughgoing exercise in the conventional ‘rustic’ Picturesque to emerge from the journey, as opposed to the serene lake views that claimed most of Turner’s attention during this phase of the tour. See comments in this sketchbook’s Introduction.
1
Wilton 1979, p.326 no.237, reproduced.
Verso:
Blank; a pencil mark, perhaps a pothook, or ‘3’; compare a similar mark on a leaf of the contemporary North of England sketchbook, on the verso of Tate D00963 (Turner Bequest XXXIV 55); stamped in brown ink with Turner Bequest monogram; inscribed by John Ruskin in brown ink ‘95’ (circled) twice; ?in a later hand in blue crayon ‘13’; and by A.J. Finberg in pencil ‘141.51’.

Andrew Wilton
August 2010

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