Joseph Mallord William Turner

The London Bridge Foundation Stone Ceremony: The Marquee beside Old London Bridge, with Boats


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 5 a

Catalogue entry

To the east down the River Thames, the upstream side of Old London Bridge is seen; the view is continued to the right halfway across folio 6 recto opposite (D18716). The main view centres on the marquee erected over the coffer-dam around the site of the southernmost pier of the new London Bridge, for the foundation stone ceremony held on the riverbed on 15 June 1825; in the foreground are indications of what appear to be small boats, with a variant detail at the top of the page. At the outer edge is a note perhaps indicating the clothing of officials involved in water-borne aspects of the ceremony.
The event and other studies relating to it at the beginning and end of this sketchbook are discussed in the Introduction.

Matthew Imms
December 2014

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