Joseph Mallord William Turner

The River Medway, at Rochester


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 113 × 187 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXCVIII 79 a

Catalogue entry

Made with the sketchbook inverted according to its foliation, this and the facing page on folio 80 recto (D17343) describe a panoramic view of Rochester from across the River Medway at Strood, as identified by Finberg.1 This section of the composition expresses the most eastern portion of the scene. At far left, closest to the gutter, Rochester Cathedral is delineated, and directly to the right, closer to the river, is the broad tower of Rochester Castle. From these two landmarks the composition emanates slightly, before dissolving towards the centre of the page. Turner sketches two simple, horizontal lines, to denote the banks of the Medway positioned in the bottom half of the sheet.
For a list of the drawings in this sketchbook that describe Rochester and the River Medway, see the entry for folio 6 verso (D17217).

Maud Whatley
January 2016

Finberg 1909, I, p.606.

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