Joseph Mallord William Turner

River Scene with Trees, Perhaps on the Thames

c.1822–7

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 229 × 369 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D25324
Turner Bequest CCLXIII 202

Catalogue entry

This scene perhaps recalls the rural River Thames west of London, although there are no firm topographical pointers. See the ‘Thames Sketchbooks c.1804–14’ and ‘Thames, London and South of England 1821–7’ sections for many comparable identified subjects. Gerald Wilkinson linked it loosely with Tate D25363 (CCLXIII 241): ‘two damp English landscapes’ on ‘the theme of reflections in water’.1
The sheet has been speculatively dated here to the mid 1820s, given the possible connections to Thames views of about that time; see also the variations on the trees by water theme in the ‘Lowland and River Colour Studies c.1820–40’ section. Tate D25323 (Turner Bequest CCLXIII 201) in the present section is a similar subject on a matching 1822 sheet, which Eric Shanes suggested as a view of Syon House, by the Thames at Isleworth, associating the present work with the same locality.2
There is a slight pencil drawing on the verso (Tate D41444; Turner Bequest CCLXIII 202v).
1
Wilkinson 1975, p.156.
2
See Shanes 1997, p.102.
Technical notes:
Finberg described the sheet as ‘note paper which has been folded’.1 There are three regular vertical folds from when it was folded in half and then into quarters, undulating creases across the centre showing it was lightly folded again, and diagonal marks at the bottom corners and at the bottom centre where one corner was creased at that time. Watercolour has pooled slightly in the creases above the centre and towards the top right.

Matthew Imms
August 2016

1
Finberg 1909, II, p.829.

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