Joseph Mallord William Turner

The House and Garden at ‘The Limes’, Mortlake


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Watercolour on paper
Support: 113 × 187 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXIII 44

Catalogue entry

As has long been recognised,1 this drawing relates to the painting The Seat of William Moffatt Esq., at Mortlake. Early (Summer’s) Morning, exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1826 (Frick Collection, New York);2 a companion piece, Mortlake Terrace, the Seat of William Moffatt, Esq. Summer’s Evening, was shown at the same venue the following year (National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC).3 The most precise study for the morning view is on folio 11 recto (D18725), where profuse foliage is shown.
In the present drawing, made in less detail with a softer or blunter pencil, the focus is on the house and the trunks and branches of trees in front and to the right of it, away from the River Thames, perhaps suggesting a return visit to the garden of ‘The Limes’ at Mortlake in the autumn or winter of 1825–6; see also the related view on folio 43 verso (D18772). As discussed in the sketchbook’s Introduction, in between is the jagged stub of another leaf, possibly with signs of a further drawing, which would presumably have been a Mortlake view.

Matthew Imms
December 2014

See Finberg 1909, II, p.649, Frick Collection, I, 1968, pp.131, 132 note 1, Butlin, Wilton and Gage 1974, p.103 and Butlin and Joll 1984, p.145.
Butlin and Joll 1984, pp.144–5 no.235, pl.236 (colour).
Ibid., pp.147–8 no.239, pl.237 (colour).

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