Joseph Mallord William Turner

The River Greta, near Brignall

1816

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 173 × 260 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D11566
Turner Bequest CXLVIII 26 a

Catalogue entry

This view looks down the River Greta from above Brignall Church. In his work around Brignall in 1816 Turner was almost certainly influenced by Sir Walter Scott’s poem Rokeby published in 1813. Scott sang ‘O Brignall Banks are wild and fair | And Greta woods are green’, and this sketch is unusually (for this tour) focused exclusively on natural features. Turner sketched the same material from the riverside in the Yorkshire 4 sketchbook (Tate D11486; Turner Bequest CXLVII 28a) and the same rocks from a greater distance upstream on folio 20 recto of the present book (D11571; Turner Bequest CXLVIII 29, now bound opposite). This writer has dated Turner’s sketches at Brignall to Thursday 1 August 1816.

David Hill
May 2009

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