Joseph Mallord William Turner

Eton College from the Bridge on the Slough Road


Not on display

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 112 × 192 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXXVI 4

Catalogue entry

The drawing is inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation. Eton College, dominated by its Perpendicular Gothic chapel, is seen to the south-west from the bridge (indicated with a ‘B’) carrying the Slough Road over the Common Ditch beside the playing fields just west of the River Thames; the view remains recognisable today. At the top left is a thumbnail sketch of trees and a distant building, possibly nearby Windsor Castle (see under folio 2 recto; D20598), and at the top centre a detail of the east end of the chapel and one of the turrets of Lupton’s Tower below on its near side. There is a similar prospect on the verso (D20602); for other views in the area see under D20598.
Turner had first sketched the prospect around the turn of the century in the Fonthill sketchbook (Tate D02212; Turner Bequest XLVII 35), the basis of the untraced watercolour1 engraved in 1803 as Eton, from the Slough Road for William Byrne’s Britannia Depicta (Tate impression: T05941); see also Tate D02213 (Turner Bequest XLVII 36). Compare also the view of about 1806–8 in the Windsor and Eton sketchbook (Tate D06075; Turner Bequest XCVII 4), and see under folio 10 recto (D20610) for Turner’s Eton design for his own Picturesque Views in England and Wales, where further sketches are also noted.

Matthew Imms
November 2015

Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.334 no.308.

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