Joseph Mallord William Turner

Dorchester from the Frome Valley


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 170 × 209 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXXIV 23

Catalogue entry

The pinnacled tower of St George’s Church, Fordington, appears on left and on the hill towards the right is the tower of St Peter’s Church in the centre of Dorchester, west of Turner’s viewpoint. Grey’s Bridge is on the left in the middle distance, carrying the London Road over the main channel of the River Frome.1 The view remains largely recognisable from the fields beside the remains of an old weir just north of the bridge over a subsidiary channel of the Frome, about a quarter of a mile east of Grey’s Bridge.
Although Dorchester would have made a picturesque subject in other circumstances, its position well inland on Turner’s route between the coastal sites of Lulworth Cove (folios 20 recto and verso, 21 recto and verso and 22 recto; D08829–D08833) and Weymouth (folio 24 recto; D08835)2 made it irrelevant to his immediate purpose of gathering material for his Southern Coast project (see the 1811 tour introduction), and he developed the view no further.
See Hanley 1992, p.26; compare modern photograph and 1747 engraving, ibid., ‘Cat.34’ and ‘Cat.35’.
Ibid., pp.6, 27.
Technical notes:
There is prominent creasing at the bottom left.
Blank, save for some rubbing or offsetting.

Matthew Imms
February 2011

Read full Catalogue entry

You might like

In the shop