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
Watercolour on paper
Support: 114 × 188 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXII 88 a

Catalogue entry

Inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation, the curve of the River Thames is seen from Richmond Hill; see under folio 5 verso (D18603) for other views in this sketchbook and related works. Here, a group of figures is shown down the hill to the left, while the zigzag strokes beside them characteristically indicate a pine tree.
The present drawing is among those which would have generally informed two watercolours: Richmond Hill of about 1825 (Lady Lever Art Gallery, Port Sunlight),1 engraved in 1826 for the Literary Souvenir (Tate impression: T06132); and Richmond Terrace, Surrey of about 1836 (Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool),2 engraved in 1838 for the Picturesque Views in England and Wales (Tate impressions: T04611, T06128). Both include people at leisure; the Literary Souvenir version features the back view of an elegant woman seated in the right foreground, possibly relating to the rapid figure study at the top right here.

Matthew Imms
December 2014

Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.359 no.518, pl.135; see also Shanes 2000, p.180.
Wilton 1979, p.403 no.879, reproduced; see also Shanes 1979, p.156, and Shanes 2004, p.128.

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