Joseph Mallord William Turner

High Force, River Tees


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 173 × 260 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXLVIII 9 a

Catalogue entry

This sketch is taken from the foot of High Force, looking across the pool to the main cascade. Turner made several other sketches of the subject in the Yorkshire 2 sketchbook (Tate D11204, D11203, D11202; Turner Bequest CXLV 101a, 101, 100a), and Yorkshire 4 sketchbook (D11496; Turner Bequest CXLVII 34) and together these observations formed the basis of two finished watercolours. One of these, High Force, or Fall of Tees (private collection)1 was painted about 1816–18 for Thomas Dunham Whitaker’s projected General History of the County of York and engraved by John Landseer in 1822 for published section, History of Richmondshire. Another, High Force, Fall of the Tees, Yorkshire (Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia)2 was painted about the same time for Turner’s patron Walter Fawkes of Farnley Hall. The Fawkes version differs comprehensively in its small details from the engraved version. The present writer has dated Turner’s sketches at High Force to Saturday 3 August 1816.

David Hill
May 2009

Andrew Wilton, The Life and Work of J.M.W. Turner, Fribourg 1979, p.364 no.563.
Ibid., pp.364–5 no.564.

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