Joseph Mallord William Turner

Richmond Hill and Bridge


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 87 × 119 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXIX 29

Catalogue entry

This study, inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation, continues across folio 28 verso opposite (D13795). It appears to show the bridge at Richmond upon Thames, looking south from the Twickenham bank towards Richmond Hill in the distance, and is closely comparable to the watercolour Richmond Hill and Bridge of about 1828–9 (British Museum, London),1 engraved in 1832 for the Picturesque Views in England and Wales (Tate impressions: T04581, T04582). The colour notes in the sky here and D13796’s ‘Red tinged Clouds’ are evident in the finished composition, which incorporates others specifics including the boats and wooded island shown here and the form of the central tree on the opposite page. The meadows in the foreground have since been developed with houses and gardens fronting the river.
There are similar views, with some aspects shown in more detail, in the Richmond Hill; Hastings to Margate sketchbook (Tate D10445–D10447; Turner Bequest CXL 19, 19a, 20). The party of elegant, picnicking figures in the watercolour is comparable to that shown in Turner’s large painting England: Richmond Hill, on the Prince Regent’s Birthday, exhibited in 1819 (Tate N00502);2 see also the figure sketch on folio 2 recto (D13753), including a parasol, an item which features in both the watercolour and the painting.
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.397 no.833, pl.190.
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984, pp.106–7 no.140, Pl.145 (colour).

Matthew Imms
September 2013

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