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: 89 × 113 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXLI 56

Catalogue entry

With the page turned horizontally, shipping is shown on the River Thames off the Tower of London, with London Bridge in the distance on the left. The brief inscription beneath one of the boats appears to begin with ‘S’ and may indicate a steamer. There appear to be separate details below at the left and centre.
There are similar studies on folios 55 recto and verso (D22526, D22527). Given the Margate drawings elsewhere in this book, Turner perhaps had a moment to make these studies when leaving or returning on one of the steamers used on the route to the resort down the Thames Estuary (see the Introduction).

Matthew Imms
May 2014

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