Joseph Mallord William Turner

Fire at the Grand Storehouse of the Tower of London


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Watercolour on paper
Support: 235 × 325 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXXXIII 1

Display caption

On 16 October 1834 Turner was among the huge throng of people who watched the burning of the old Houses of Parliament. Subsequently he made two paintings, seen from the Surrey side of the Thames, showing the fire at its height and diminishing somewhat. Both these are in the USA, at the museums of Philadelphia and Cleveland respectively. There are nine watercolours, of which this is one, which are usually thought to be of the fire. However, not all authorities agree on this.

Gallery label, September 2004

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