Joseph Mallord William Turner

Old London Bridge; Architectural Details; a Gothic Window


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 CCV 35 a

Catalogue entry

Inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation, the main drawing here is effectively a continuation to the left of that on the recto (D17894), an elevation of the east side of Old London Bridge, the section here being that nearest the south bank of the River Thames. There are notes and numbers concerning the stonework, and details above and below including the Gothic tracery of a window, perhaps from a nearby church such as Southwark Cathedral; see also folio 34 verso (D17893). Compare the arches on folio 2 verso (D17837) and the elevation on folios 32 verso–33 recto (D17889–D17890).
Like that on the recto, the present study would have informed the 1824 watercolour known as The Port of London (Victoria and Albert Museum, London),1 engraved in 1827 as Old London Bridge and Vicinity (Tate impression: T06070); see the overall Introduction to the present Thames-related section.
More than half the drawings in this sketchbook show the river around the bridge, and are likely to date from 1824; see the book’s Introduction.

Matthew Imms
December 2014

Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.358 no.514, reproduced.

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