Joseph Mallord William Turner

Dob Park Lodge above the River Washburn


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite and watercolour on paper
Support: 190 × 231 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCIII N

Catalogue entry

As recognised by Finberg in his sequencing,1 Tate D17768–D17772 (Turner Bequest CCIII K, L, M, N, O) form a group of similar wooded river valley subjects in pencil and wash. The present work is the only one firmly identified by Ian Warrell as a view on the River Washburn, between Folly Hall and the ruined Dob Park Lodge,2 but he has plausibly suggested that they all probably represent the river,3 not far up the valley north-west of Walter Fawkes’s home at Farnley Hall (see David Hill’s introduction to this section).
Warrell mentions these five sheets in passing in relation to the disbound ‘Munro’ or ‘Farnley-Munro’ sketchbook, in use on Turner’s last visit to Farnley in the late autumn of 1824, the year before Fawkes, his great friend and patron, died.4 He has suggested that the artist may have been encouraged in the creation of tonal, inky drawings here and in that slightly larger sketchbook5 by a knowledge of his former patron Richard Payne Knight’s6 album of wash studies by the French artist Claude Lorrain (c.1604–82), who was in any case an important influence.7 Knight acquired the album not long before his death in 1824, and left its contents to the British Museum, London.8 Both the Liber Studiorum and the so-called ‘Little Liber’ (see the relevant section of the present catalogue, c.1806–24 and c.1823–6) owe a debt to Claude – the former in its general concept, style and certain compositions, and the latter perhaps in its emphasis on chiaroscuro.9
Although any specific influence of the Payne Knight album on the present works will probably remain a matter for speculation, Warrell observes that during the 1824 Farnley visit Turner ‘worked predominantly in monochrome washes that resemble some of Claude’s broader effects’ the present work being among a group ‘clearly sketched fluently on the spot ... almost as if Turner was assimilating the meaning of Claude’s “bits” of nature to be found among the Payne Knight collection and putting into practice what they revealed.’10
See Finberg 1909, I, p.617.
Warrell 2002, p.194.
See Warrell 1991, p.40.
See Warrell 2014, p.89, pp.89–93, and catalogue entries for selected pages from the sketchbook, ibid., pp.94–100; see also A.J. Finberg, ‘Turner’s Newly-Identified Yorkshire Sketchbook’, Connoisseur, October 1935, pp.185–7.
See Warrell 2014, pp.92–3, and figs.5–7.
See Terry Riggs, ‘Knight, Richard Payne (1751–1824)’ in Evelyn Joll, Martin Butlin and Luke Herrmann (eds.), The Oxford Companion to J.M.W. Turner, Oxford 2001, pp.157–8.
See Warrell, Chavanne and Kitson 2002; and Ian Warrell and others, Turner Inspired: In the Light of Claude, exhibition catalogue, National Gallery, London 2012.
Warrell 2002, p.194, Warrell 2012, p.38, and Ian Warrell, Turner’s Sketchbooks, London 2014, p.122; see also Kathleen Nicholson, ‘Turner, Claude and the Essence of Landscape’, in David Solkin (ed.), Turner and the Masters, exhibition catalogue, Tate Britain, London 2009, pp.60, 227 note 6.
See also Warrell 1991, p.40 and Warrell 2002, p.194.
Warrell 2002, p.194.
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.361 no.538, reproduced.
Cook and Wedderburn 1904, p.567.
Wilton 1979, p.429 no.1086, reproduced.
See Spender 1980, p.162.

Matthew Imms
September 2016

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