Joseph Mallord William Turner

Trees by a Lake or River, with a Cloudy Sky


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Watercolour on paper
Support: 177 × 314 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXIII 241

Catalogue entry

The loose landscape forms here suggest trees reflected in a wide river or lake, beneath a threatening sky. Gerald Wilkinson compared this ‘showery’ scene to Tate D18638 (Turner Bequest CCXII 34) among numerous watercolour landscape, sea and sky studies in the Thames sketchbook of about 1825, and while not necessarily representing a particular spot, the present work may well have a basis in Turner’s long association with the Thames Valley (see the ‘Thames sketchbooks c.1804–14’ and ‘Thames, London and South of England 1821–7’ sections of this catalogue).1
For similar scenes with trees beside water within the present section, see Tate D25182, D25191, D25230, D25233, D25300, D25303, D25495 and D25498 (Turner Bequest CCLXIII 60, 69, 108, 111, 178, 181, 372, 375a), the last two of which could also be Thames subjects.
See also David Hill, Turner on the Thames: River Journeys in the Year 1805, New Haven and London 1993.
Blank; inscribed in pencil ‘58’ below right of centre; stamped in black with Turner Bequest monogram over ‘CCLXIII – 241’ bottom left. There is some brown staining or offsetting from another sheet.

Matthew Imms
December 2015

Read full Catalogue entry


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