Joseph Mallord William Turner

Rhymer’s Glen, Abbotsford


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 111 × 181 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXVIII 51 a

Catalogue entry

This is Turner’s most detailed and finished sketch of Rhymer’s Glen in the Abbotsford estate. It depicts the bridge over the glen and carefully records the details of the steep wooded banks and the steps at the left.
It was not, however, the design he chose to follow for his watercolour vignette of the subject: Rhymer’s Glen, Abbotsford circa 1834 (watercolour, National Gallery of Scotland).1 In fact the bridge is not depicted in the watercolour, or in many of the sketches that Turner made of the glen in 1834; see folio 50 verso (D26193) for full references. There are, however, several comparable sketches of the bridge in the Abbotsford sketchbook, which Turner had used on his visit to the area in 1831: Tate D25936 and D25937 (Turner Bequest CCLXVII 5a, 6).
There are light brown stains at the top centre and bottom centre of the page.

Thomas Ardill
January 2011

Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.432 under cat.1119.

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