Joseph Mallord William Turner

Riverside Views of Worcester and the Watergate from near the Cathedral


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 191 × 114 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXXXIX 86 a

Catalogue entry

There are three sketches of Worcester here, made with the page turned vertically and separated by horizontal pencil lines. At the top and bottom are views looking north up the east bank of the River Severn, with the spire of St Andrew’s Church and the tower of All Saints in the distance; the wider of the two views, at the bottom, includes Worcester Cathedral, in a view comparable to that shown in the watercolour Worcester of about 1834 (British Museum, London),1 engraved in 1835 for the Picturesque Views in England and Wales (Tate impression: T06117), although that composition is more directly based on the sketches on folios 81 verso and 83 verso (D22300, D22304; Turner Bequest CCXXXIX 80a, 82a). For other views of Worcester, see under folio 2 verso (D22154).
In between is a study of the Watergate, in the buttressed city walls overlooking the river along the same stretch; the walls survive in somewhat truncated form, supporting later buildings. In all three sketches there are groups of figures, including fishermen ‘mending nets’ on the quay. Eel-fishing is shown in the England and Wales design. For other views of Worcester, see under folio 2 verso (D22154).

Matthew Imms
April 2014

Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.401 no.862, reproduced.

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