Joseph Mallord William Turner

Pulborough Bridge, on the River Arun


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Watercolour on paper
Support: 113 × 187 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXIII 25 a

Catalogue entry

As recognised by Finberg and the Turner scholar C.F. Bell subsequent to Finberg’s 1909 Inventory,1 this sketch shows Pulborough. In the centre is Pulborough Bridge on the River Arun, seen from the south-west, and since been by-passed by a modern bridge running in parallel immediately on the near side; St Mary’s Church (now obscured by trees) appears on the hill beyond. The second crossing in the distance appears to be Wickford Bridge, since altered. There is a covered waggon in the foreground, almost merging with the foliage forms.
There is a similar view on folios 24 verso–25 recto (D18750–D18751) and other Pulborough subjects on folio 24 recto (D18749).
The sequence of sketches between folio 17 verso (D18736) and (apparently) folio 26 recto (D18753), and possibly 26 verso (D18754), comprises Sussex subjects in the vicinity of Petworth. For a note on Lord Egremont, Petworth, and Turner’s work there, see the sketchbook’s Introduction.

Matthew Imms
December 2014

Undated MS notes by A.J. Finberg (died 1939) and C.F. Bell (died 1966) in their respective copies of Finberg 1909, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, vol.II, p.649.

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