Joseph Mallord William Turner

Riverside Terrain; Ruins


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite and pen and ink on paper
Support: 174 × 117 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLIV 1

Catalogue entry

Turner filled this page with cursory pencil marks, only certain passages of which are legible as landscape views or architectural features. Most clear is a faintly drawn ruin at the centre of the page of a type typical of the Normandy countryside close to the Seine. As laid out in the sketchbook Introduction, the artist made a considerable study in this volume of the ancient fortifications at Les Andelys, Gisors, and Courcelles-Lès-Gisors. Inverted in relation to this sketch, the marks at the bottom of the page suggest a tall ship’s mast without its sails and, towards the left, a long row of arches reminiscent of the bridges at Saint-Cloud and Sèvres to the west of Paris. For a comparison, see the sketch of this site on folio 18 recto (D23915; Turner Bequest CCLIV 18).
Turner’s executors used the top of this page for their endorsements. Towards the top left-hand corner, Henry Scott Trimmer signed his name in pencil, while Charles Lock Eastlake and John Prescott Knight each left their initials, also in pencil. In ink, Trimmer inscribed and signed the top right-hand corner with the note ‘No 268 | 93–pencil sketches’ to establish the volume’s endorsement number, and to indicate the quantity and medium of the drawings it contained. In red ink, John Ruskin then underlined part of Trimmer’s note and wrote below ‘93. mea[...] leaves | drawn on both sides | Sent out. JR’.

John Chu
July 2014

Read full Catalogue entry


You might like