Joseph Mallord William Turner

An Oxbow in a Large River


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Support: 110 × 178 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXXIX 105 a

Catalogue entry

This sketch appears inverted in relation to the current numbering of the pages of the sketchbook. The view from an eminence looking down onto the apex of a large river oxbow with a bridge or complex of bridges in the foreground is evidently the same site recorded on folio 104 verso (D09182), which appears to have been drawn next and which represents an alternative, less straightforwardly scopic approach from a viewpoint slightly further right. Finberg suggests the possibility of a site near Farnley Hall, but the landscape is not obviously characteristic of Yorkshire and may, rather, belong to the south-west of England which Turner visited in 1811 and 1813. See notes to D09182 for discussion of a possible relationship to scenery on the River Tamar near Calstock. The sketch is drawn in a very soft pencil, now quite badly rubbed to the right of the composition, and offset onto folio 106 recto (D09185), opposite.

David Hill
October 2008

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