Joseph Mallord William Turner

Sailing Boats on the River Thames with London Bridge and Southwark Cathedral Beyond


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 69 × 112 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXXII 34 a

Catalogue entry

Inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation, the square tower with pinnacles in the distance is that of Southwark Cathedral, above the Thames beyond and upstream of London Bridge, seen from the north-east. The view continues a little way onto folio 35 recto opposite (D08338). There is a series of similar views in the later Old London Bridge sketchbook (Tate D17845, D17846, D17847, D17851, D17872, D17873, D17875, D17908; Turner Bequest CCV 6a–7, 7a, 9a, 20, 20a, 21a, 42a).
The roofline to the right has not been identified, but would be in the vicinity of the Custom House if shown in accurate juxtaposition with the other structures. There are various other identified and likely subjects along the River Thames in this sketchbook, as discussed in the Introduction.

Matthew Imms
September 2013

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