Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Summer-house and Garden at ‘The Limes’, Mortlake, Looking West up the River Thames; Studies of the Garden


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 CCXIII 16

Catalogue entry

The left-hand half of the page is a continuation from the full-page view on folio 15 verso opposite (D18733), under which the subject, set in the garden of ‘The Limes’ at Mortlake, is discussed. The present part of the scene was largely incorporated in the composition of the painting Mortlake Terrace, the Seat of William Moffatt, Esq. Summer’s Evening, shown at the Royal Academy in 1827 (National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC),1 although only the left-hand edge and branches of the tree were included as a repoussoir device. The inconspicuous sailing boat here was replaced by a large Thames sailing barge and several other craft, making the river appear somewhat overcrowded. For the semi-transparent tree, see under D18733. At the right, with the page turned vertically, are two smaller studies. At the outer edge is a reprise of the overall two-page composition, with a study of other trees below, possibly along the south side of the lawn.
Butlin and Joll 1984, pp.147–8 no.239, pl.237 (colour).
Technical notes:
The leaf has been removed from the sketchbook and reattached. The loose pencil marks just visible towards the top and bottom of the gutter on the verso relate to this process; such marks often occur on the backs of double-page spreads extracted for display in the nineteenth century, but there appears to be no record of such an event in this case, which would have involved the drawing spanning D18733 and the present page. The ink number on the verso is of the type also usually indicating early display.
Blank, save for ‘981’ inscribed in red ink bottom left.

Matthew Imms
December 2014

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