Joseph Mallord William Turner

Study for ‘Traitor’s Gate, Tower of London’, Rogers’s ‘Poems’

c.1830–2

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite and watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 193 × 241 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D27610
Turner Bequest CCLXXX 93

Catalogue entry

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.
1
Warrell 1994, p.166.
Verso:
Inscribed by an unknown hand in blue pencil ‘219’ centre left

Meredith Gamer
August 2006

Read full Catalogue entry

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