This is one of four loose ‘colour beginnings’ related to the 1822 watercolour Rokeby (The Higgins, Bedford),1 showing a rocky, wooded ravine on the River Greta (see also Tate D25371, D25409 and D25411; Turner Bequest CCLXIII 249, 286, 288). This connection was established by Eric Shanes;2 see under D25371 for discussion of the circumstances, subject and composition of the finished design.
The present variation gives more prominence to the rock face occupying the left-hand side, whereas the completed composition shows a path winding round the base, and a sheer, sunlit cliff on the opposite side, left blank at the top right here. The sense of sunlight ‘filtering down from the left’ would be retained.3
Blank; there is some mottled brown and grey watercolour offsetting, possibly from one of the related studies. Inscribed by ?John Ruskin in pencil ‘AB 219 P | O’ bottom left, descending vertically; inscribed in pencil ‘69a’ towards bottom centre, descending vertically; inscribed in pencil ‘CCLXIII | 285’ towards bottom left, descending vertically; stamped in black with Turner Bequest monogram over ‘CCLXIII – 285’ towards top left, descending vertically; inscribed in pencil ‘D 25408; top left, descending vertically.
- Rokeby Park(17)
- River Greta(36)