This is a study for the finished vignette, Traitor’s Gate (see Tate 27694; Turner Bequest CCLXXX 177) which was published in the 1834 edition of Rogers’s Poems as an illustration to the poem, ‘Human Life’. The two compositions are closely related in form and content. In the final version, however, as Ian Warrell has observed, Turner heightened the central keep of the Tower to improve the balance of the design.1
The style and medium of the sketch are typical of Turner’s preparatory studies for Rogers’s Poems, which tend to be executed in pencil and light watercolour wash and are made on papers of similar type and dimensions.
Warrell 1994, p.166.
Inscribed by an unknown hand in blue pencil ‘219’ centre left