Joseph Mallord William Turner

Hampton Court Palace from the River Thames


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 110 × 185 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXXVII 39 a

Catalogue entry

Subsequent to Finberg’s 1909 Inventory, both he and the Turner scholar C.F. Bell identified the subject here as ‘Hampton Ct Palace.1 Eric Shanes and Jan Piggott2 have noted the connection with the watercolour Hampton Court Palace of about 1827 (private collection),3 engraved in 1829 for the Picturesque Views in England and Wales (Tate impression: T04550).
The top drawing focuses on the detached Banqueting House to the left of centre and the crenellations and turrets of the Tudor part of the palace towards the right, shows roughly the same aspect of the complex, north across the River Thames, as in the watercolour. The sketch towards the bottom left repeats the details shown in the top right corner before continuing on to the junction of the Tudor ranges with the Baroque part of the south front, where the ‘4’ bays of the first section of that façade are noted. At the bottom right is a repetition of the latter element, with the emphasis now on the roofline, and a further note of the ‘7’ bays leading towards the central three-bay portion of that symmetrical sequence, loosely indicated at the bottom right. Above this last drawing is a rough note of the vertical arrangement of the window surrounds against the brickwork, the middle one in most instances being circular.
There are comparably quick details on folios 39 verso and 40 verso (D20792, D20794; Turner Bequest CCXXVII 37a, 38a); see under folio 2 verso for other studies in this sketchbook.

Matthew Imms
November 2015

Undated MS notes by Finberg (died 1939) and C.F. Bell (died 1966) in copies of Finberg 1909, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, II, p.699.
See Hanes 1979, p.156, and Piggott 2006, p.9.
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.395 no.812.

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