Joseph Mallord William Turner

Fishermen in the River Dee near Corwen Bridge; Sketch for ‘Trout Fishing in the Dee, Corwen Bridge and Cottage’


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 98 × 162 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CIV 28 a

Catalogue entry

Drawn with the sketchbook inverted.
Finberg’s comments continue ‘See picture of “The Dee at Corwen Bridge,” in Turner’s Studio, 1809’ and Butlin and Joll describe this drawing as ‘a rough study’ for the picture shown in Turner’s Gallery that year, which was bought by the Earl of Essex (Taft Museum, Cincinnati, Ohio).1 There are other related drawings of the Dee at Corwen on folios 45 verso and 46 verso–47 of the sketchbook (D06914, D06916–D06917; Turner Bequest CIV 44a, 45a–46).
See Introduction to the sketchbook for Turner’s trip into North Wales from Tabley in 1808. Besides scenery, fishing was a major attraction for the artist and the Dee at Corwen is rich in trout. If Turner returned to Tabley from Wales with his sketchbook stocked with drawings, it is likely that Trout Fishing was begun there, which could account for reports by the painter Henry Thomson that Turner had ‘begun another picture’ – that is, in addition to his two pictures of Tabley2 – as first suggested by Finberg in his Life. As Sir John Leicester was also an enthusiastic angler, Turner may have hoped to interest him in the subject.

David Blayney Brown
May 2010

Butlin and Joll 1984, p.68 no.92 (pl.102).
Ibid., pp.70–1 nos.98, 99 (pls.106, 107).

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