Joseph Mallord William Turner

Colour Sketch, Perhaps a View Near London Bridge


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Support: 177 × 256 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXX 13

Catalogue entry

This colour sketch, executed in thin grey, yellow and red watercolour, appears to show buildings by water with the masts of boats at the left foreground. The most likely subject matter is of a view near London Bridge on the Thames, a subject depicted in three pencil and wash sketches in this book: folios 10, 11 and 43 (D13824, D13825, D13858; CLXX 9, 10, 42). With these in mind, the two tower shapes near the centre of the study may be the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral or the Spire of St Magnus-the-Martyr at the left and the Monument to the Great Fire of London to the right as in folio 12.
Another watercolour sketch on folio 13 (D13828; CLXX 12), executed with the same paints, and evidently on the same occasion, also includes a tower and masts and is probably connected, along with a watercolour sketch on folio 41 verso (D13856; CLXX 40a).
The three studies were likely to have been made back in the studio following Turner’s sketching on the Thames with the present book, although it is possible that they were also made en plein air.

Thomas Ardill
August 2009

Read full Catalogue entry


You might like

In the shop