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: 187 × 113 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXIII 8

Catalogue entry

With the page turned vertically, there are four slight sketches here, made around 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 of the Thames on 15 June 1825. At the top the structure is shown to the right with a group of figures, perhaps in boats, in the foreground; immediately below is slight view with the tent in the middle. Below a horizontal pencil line comes another view with the marquee on the left, and the Monument and the tower of St Magnus the Martyr to the north at the centre. Again separated by a horizontal line, the fourth sketch shows the arches of London Bridge looking east downstream, with the marquee on the right.
These are variations on the views on other pages at the beginning and end of this sketchbook; see the Introduction for a note of the others and a discussion of the event.

Matthew Imms
December 2014

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