Joseph Mallord William Turner

St Magnus the Martyr’s Church, with Shipping in the Pool of London near Old London Bridge, ?and Southwark Cathedral


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 8 a

Catalogue entry

Inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation, the tower of St Magnus the Martyr’s Church, on the north bank of the River Thames, is shown on the right. At the centre left, in very summary form, appears to be Old London Bridge, while the rough vertical form above it may be the tower and pinnacles of Southwark Cathedral, on the opposite bank; compare folio 7 verso (D17847). This may have been part of a rapid study looking south-west before turning to concentrate on St Magnus’s.
The vessel in the foreground on the right appears to be shown juxtaposed with the latter, while there is a separate study of shipping at the top left, and another along the gutter, with the page turned vertically, showing a sailing boat with arches beyond. In all, this suggests Turner’s being rowed around the Pool of London on the look-out for useful material, but not finding a focus in this instance.
More than half the drawings in this sketchbook show the river around the bridge, and are likely to date from 1824; see the Introduction.

Matthew Imms
December 2014

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