Joseph Mallord William Turner

The River Medway, at Rochester

c.1821–2

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 113 × 187 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D17345
Turner Bequest CXCVIII 81

Catalogue entry

Made with the page inverted according to the foliation of the sketchbook, the sketch on this page describes a bend in the river Medway at Rochester in Kent, as ascertained by Finberg.1 To the right of centre the imposing tower of Rochester Castle stands out from the otherwise blank urban sprawl in which it is situated. Turner looks down at the scene, and trees flank his view on both sides. The river itself swerves through the landscape, beginning towards bottom right and snaking across the page in a serpentine form. The handling is loose, plotting broad shapes rather than specific detail. The prospect is similar to other studies in the present sketchbook which deal with Rochester. A list of studies which encompass the same subject matter can be found in the entry for folio 6 verso (D17217).

Maud Whatley
January 2016

1
Finberg 1909, I, p.606.

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