Joseph Mallord William Turner

St Catherine’s Hill, near Guildford, Surrey

c.1830

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 357 × 510 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D25150
Turner Bequest CCLXIII 28

Catalogue entry

Eric Shanes has acknowledged Ian Warrell’s unpublished identification1 of this ‘colour-structure study’2 as relating to the watercolour St Catherine’s Hill, near Guildford, Surrey of about 1830 (Yale Center for British Art, New Haven),3 engraved in 1832 for the Picturesque Views in England and Wales (Tate impressions: T04587, T05088, T06096, T06097). The scene is on the south side of Guildford, with St Catherine’s Hill, the setting for the ruined medieval chapel of the same dedication in the finished watercolour, and the Portsmouth road in the hollow to the right, where a coach is prefigured here by a central raised shape here. The very loose strokes of pale brown towards the bottom right may hint at the crowds who throng the annual fair all across the foreground of the England and Wales composition.
Earlier pencil sketches of the chapel include one from the north in the 1807 Spithead sketchbook (Tate D06617; Turner Bequest C 75a); the view from the south was the subject of a Liber Studiorum design (see under D08137; Turner Bequest CXVII J).
See also the introductions to the present subsection of identified subjects and the overall England and Wales ‘colour beginnings’ grouping to which this work has been assigned.
1
Shanes 1997, pp.50, 95; see also p.104.
2
See ibid., pp.11, 21.
3
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.498 no.837, reproduced.
Verso:
Blank

Matthew Imms
March 2013

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