Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Chinese Fishing Temple and other Buildings beside Virginia Water


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 120 × 203 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXXXVIII 72 a

Catalogue entry

Inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation, this view to the north-west across Virginia Water continues across folio 75 recto opposite (D22116; Turner Bequest CCXXXVIII 73), where the Chinese Fishing Temple is seen on its moated island overlooking the lake. The footbridge over the moat seen here, or a similar replacement, survives, although the house has been replaced or remodelled as the present building at or near the same spot has two gables facing this way. The round forms along the lake are probably buoys of the kind seen more prominently in the foreground of the watercolour Virginia Water of about 1829 (private collection),1 one of two engraved for The Keepsake in 1830 (Tate impressions: T04618, T06141), for which this double-page view is the closest source.
For other views around Virginia Water, see under folio 73 verso (D22113; Turner Bequest CCXXXVIII 71a).

Matthew Imms
August 2013

Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.359 no.519, pl.141 (colour).

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