Joseph Mallord William Turner

Grasmere, Looking South towards Rydal Water


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite and watercolour on paper
Support: 274 × 370 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest XXXV 87

Display caption

Turner made only a handful of sketches in this book on his way up to the Scottish border, reserving its much larger sheets for the Lake District. The enveloping scenery of the English Lakes offered Turner a new challenge, which, after a tentative start, he rose to, despite wet weather. Twelve of the landscapes are partly worked up in watercolour, and Turner later told Joseph Farington (one of the Royal Academicians he was anxious to impress) that they had been coloured from nature. These lakeland studies demonstrate a new breadth in his approach to landscape, which he successfully transferred to the oil paintings based on two of the sketches.

Gallery label, September 2004

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