Joseph Mallord William Turner

Boats on the River Thames off Old London Bridge and Southwark Bridge


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 100 × 160 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCVI 24 a

Catalogue entry

The drawings between folios 20 verso and 34 verso (D40967, D17979) include rapid studies and notes of barges, flags, costumes and bridges along the River Thames, and appear to record or relate to the Lord Mayor’s Day procession of 9 November 1824, as discussed in the sketchbook’s Introduction. The small drawing at the top left probably indicates some of the narrow, irregular arches of Old London Bridge, while the main view seems to show the broad spans of Southwark Bridge, the next crossing upstream. If the vantage point for each was similar, the first is shown to the east, and the second to the west. As well as the sailing boats in these views, at the top right is a study of a small boat with a flag perhaps inscribed ‘HMS’ and figures whose dress Turner notes.

Matthew Imms
December 2014

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