Joseph Mallord William Turner

River Scene off Gravesend

c.1805–9

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 115 x 190 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D06466
Turner Bequest XCIX 62 a

Catalogue entry

Drawn with the sketchbook inverted. This is certainly Gravesend, with St George’s Church, and a variant of the subject on folio 67 verso (D06468; Turner Bequest XCIX 63a). A vertical pencil line cuts off the right quarter of the composition; if 67 verso is folded over so that its right edge meets this line, one sees that Turner is considering alternative treatments of the subject, which he painted in a picture that he offered to Sir John Leicester in 1810 (whereabouts unknown).1 Of the two, 67 verso is closest to the outline of the picture that Turner drew in his letter to Sir John, 12 December 1810.2

David Blayney Brown
March 2009

1
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984, p.127 no.206 (pl.203).
2
John Gage ed., Collected Correspondence of J.M.W. Turner, Oxford 1980, p.44 reproduced.

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