Joseph Mallord William Turner

Hammersmith Bridge from Barnes


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 78 x 110 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXL 63

Catalogue entry

Inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation, this sketch continues on folio 62 verso opposite (D22442). It shows Hammersmith Bridge from the Barnes bank of the River Thames, looking north-west to the waterfront at Hammersmith. There is a detail of the stonework of one of the twin stone Tuscan archways at the bottom left. The main sketch is notable for apparently omitting the deck of the bridge and showing a clear view of the houses beyond at that level, although the main cables are shown in place between the twin stone Tuscan archways, and also down to the twin toll-booths on the bank towards the left. The ‘w’ presumably indicates a white reflection in the river. At the far left is a smoking industrial chimney in the distance.
There is a second, much slighter sketch towards the top left, apparently indicating the twin arches and the cables between them beyond trees, again presumably from the rural Barnes bank. As discussed under folio 58 verso (D22434), where other Hammersmith views are mentioned, Turner’s studies of the bridge seem to have a rather provisional air, and may show it still under construction before its October 1827 opening.

Matthew Imms
August 2013

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