Joseph Mallord William Turner

Old London Bridge; Stagings, Piledrivers and the Thames Waterfront

?1824

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 98 × 162 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D17891
Turner Bequest CCV 33 a

Catalogue entry

Across the middle of this busy page runs the west side of the southern end of Old London Bridge. Above, against a background of waterfront buildings, piledrivers and associated equipment are shown upstream, preparing for the coffer-dams out of which the piers of the bridge’s replacement would rise. Work began in March 1824, suggesting Turner drew these preliminary operations that spring or summer. Below are studies of other buildings along the River Thames.
More than half the drawings in this sketchbook show the river around the bridge, and are all likely to date from 1824; see the Introduction.

Matthew Imms
December 2014

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