Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Upperton Monument in Petworth Park


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Watercolour on paper
Support: 113 × 187 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXIII 19

Catalogue entry

Inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation, the Upperton Monument folly is shown from the west with Petworth Park beyond. The prospect to the left and the foreground are now obscured by woodland. Having not recognised the subject in 1909, Finberg later suggested that it showed a ‘tower, [at] Petworth or conceivably Arundel Park’.1
The tower is thought to be to the design of Turner’s friend Sir John Soane,2 and is seen from the other direction in two of the gouaches associated with Turner’s 1827 visit to Petworth (Tate D24635, D24799; Turner Bequest CCLIX 70, 234). A watercolour which probably dates from a few years later (Tate D29007; Turner Bequest CCXCII 58) shows effectively the same view as the present drawing.3
The sequence of sketches between folio 17 verso (D18736) and (apparently) folio 26 recto (D18753), and possibly 26 verso (D18754), comprises Sussex subjects in the vicinity of Petworth, those as far as folio 22 verso (D18746) showing the park west of the house, from the vicinity of the Upperton Monument. For a note on Lord Egremont, Petworth, and Turner’s work there, see the sketchbook’s Introduction.

Matthew Imms
December 2014

See undated MS notes by A.J. Finberg (died 1939) and notes with the same wording by C.F. Bell (died 1966) in their respective copies of Finberg 1909, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, vol.II, p.648; see also; the subject was first unambiguously identified by Ian Warrell in Butlin, Luther and Warrell 1989, pp.127, 131, and Warrell 1991, p.64.
See Warrell 1991, p.64.
See Warrell 1989, pp.127–8.

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