Joseph Mallord William Turner

Study for ‘Greenwich Hospital’, for Rogers’s ‘Poems’


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite and watercolour on paper
Support: 194 × 245 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXXX 94

Catalogue entry

This is a study for Greenwich Hospital, a finished vignette illustration for the 1834 edition of Rogers’s Poems (see Tate D27693; Turner Bequest CCLXXX 176). The two compositions are closely related. Both present a frontal view of the north façade of Greenwich Hospital with boats and naval pensioners in the foreground. In the finished version of the illustration Turner moved the large ship to the left side of the image and reduced the number of pensioners from two to one. The retired invalid sailors, many of whom resided at the hospital at Greenwich, would have been familiar figures to a contemporary audience.
The style and medium of this sketch are typical of Turner’s preparatory studies for Rogers’s Poems, which tend to be executed in pencil and light touches or washes of watercolour.
Inscribed by an unknown hand in blue pencil ‘218’ centre left

Meredith Gamer
August 2006

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