Joseph Mallord William Turner

Shipping on the River Thames off the Tower of London


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 98 × 162 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCV 12 a

Catalogue entry

Beyond a moored Thames barge, the Tower of London is seen across the river to the north-east. A more detailed drawing from a similar angle in the contemporary River sketchbook (Tate D17819; Turner Bequest CCIV 34) was the most direct source for the watercolour of The Tower of London of about 1825 (private collection),1 engraved in 1831 for The Literary Souvenir (Tate impression: T06137). The fortress is seen again on folio 13 verso (D17859).
More than half the drawings in this sketchbook show the River Thames around Old London Bridge, and are likely to date from 1824; see the Introduction.

Matthew Imms
December 2014

Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.358 no.515.

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