Joseph Mallord William Turner

Boats with Figures in the Pool of London near Old London Bridge; the Tower of St Magnus the Martyr’s Church


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 162 × 98 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCV 3

Catalogue entry

With the page turned vertically, framed by the masts of sailing boats at the top is a view west up the River Thames towards Old London Bridge, with the tower of Southwark Cathedral on the south bank beyond. Across the middle of the page below are quick studies of boats and figures near or on the shore, with ‘R’ as a colour note, probably for red, on the torsos of two figures.
Closest to the gutter, drawn with the page inverted relative to the foliation, are the upper stages of the tower of St Magnus the Martyr’s Church, which still stands nearby on the north bank, albeit obscured from the river by tower blocks. Compare Turner’s study of about 1794 (Tate D00695; Turner Bequest XXVIII J).
More than half the drawings in this sketchbook show the River Thames around Old London Bridge; see the Introduction.

Matthew Imms
December 2014

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