Joseph Mallord William Turner

Boats and Figures, by a Quay or on the River Thames; a Wooded River Scene with a Bridge


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 114 × 188 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXII 3 a

Catalogue entry

The setting of the main drawing, with boats full of passengers passing or approaching what may be a quay on the left, could be the River Thames or a harbour. In August 1825 Turner was abroad in the Low Countries, and it is possible that the scene was observed there, although drawings on nearby pages show the familiar scene from the top of Richmond Hill (see the Introduction). The smaller scene separated by pencil lines at the top right shows trees by a bridge, with boats and figures in the foreground. On folio 4 recto opposite (D18600), there is a study of what is likely to be one of the London livery company barges used in pageants on the Thames, which might be connected with the main subject here.

Matthew Imms
December 2014

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