Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Banks of the River Washburn, Looking South to Leathley Church


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

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Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 204 × 256 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLIV I

Catalogue entry

This is one of three similarly-sized sketches (with D12105, D12106; Turner Bequest CLIV G, H) made on ‘Bristol Paper’1 all recording subjects in the Washburn Valley near Farnley Hall, the Yorkshire home of Turner’s patron Walter Fawkes. Peter Bower suggests that the three are rough quarters of a single sheet, originally approximately 394 x 520 mm. Bower also points out that such material was only rarely used for sketching by Turner, and he speculates that it was obtained from Farnley Hall.2 Presumably the three sketches were all made on the same visit, and given the proximity of subjects, probably on the same excursion.
This sketch looks from the right bank of the River Washburn below Lake Tiny near Farnley Hall downstream towards Leathley Church at the left, possibly from the rustic summer house The Pheasant’s (or ‘Peasant’s’) Nest, itself depicted in this group (Tate D12106). The sketch records similar material to D12105, from the same group, but from a lower and more distant viewpoint.
There is a splash of brown watercolour at the top left.
Bristol Paper is a laminate of two or more sheets of paper, with a highly glazed finish, named after the Earl of Bristol; see Bower 1990, p.108.
Bower 1990, p.109.
Laid down.

David Hill
July 2009

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