Joseph Mallord William Turner

The River Thames from Richmond Hill


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 155 × 95 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXL 70 a

Catalogue entry

With sketches and drawings running from the verso to folio 86 verso of the sketchbook (D10550–D10565; Turner Bequest CXL 71–78a), this drawing is associated by Eric Shanes with Turner’s watercolour Richmond Terrace, Surrey (Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool),1 engraved by J.T. Willmore in 1838 for Picturesque Views in England and Wales. The last of Turner’s many representations of this famous prospect, it was perhaps prompted by King William IV’s construction of a terraced promenade in 1834.2 With other Richmond views in this sketchbook, those from the hill are probably much earlier and related to other works as well, beginning with the painting England: Richmond Hill, on the Prince Regent’s Birthday (Tate N00502)3 exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1819. Butlin and Joll’s discussion of the picture refers to folios 85–90 (D10562–D10572; Turner Bequest CXL 77–82), dating them about 1815, but makes no mention of the numerous other views, presumably because few were then identified. See notes to folio 76 verso (D10545; Turner Bequest CXL 68a) for a particular similarity to buildings depicted in the watercolour (Lady Lever Art Gallery, Port Sunlight)4 engraved by Edward Goodall in 1826 for The Literary Souvenir but probably originally intended for England and Wales.

David Blayney Brown
July 2011

Andrew Wilton, The Life and Work of J.M.W. Turner, Fribourg 1979, p.403 no.879.
Eric Shanes, Turner’s England 18101838, London 1990, p.257.
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed. 1984, New Haven and London 1984, pp.106–7 no.140 (pl.145).
Wilton 1979, p.359 no.518.

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