Joseph Mallord William Turner

Trees on a Riverbank


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 74 × 112 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCCXLIV 444

Catalogue entry

This sketch of trees on a riverbank was made on one of the small pieces of buff coloured card that Turner used on 24 August 1822 at the Provost’s Banquet for George IV at Edinburgh’s Parliament House. If the sketch was made around the same time then it could be a view across the River Forth, perhaps from around Granton where Turner made sketches in the King’s Visit to Edinburgh sketchbook: Tate D17564, D17609 (Turner Bequest CC 36, 59). This sketch sees the artist taking his time to study individual trees and record their particular shapes and characteristics, rather than treating them in a more general manner as was his habit in topographical sketches of this period.
Inscribed in red ink by John Ruskin ‘CCCXLIV <429> <441> bottom right
Inscribed in pencil by ?A.J. Finberg ‘444’ bottom right
Although the Turner Bequest group number of this work (CCCXLIV) has remained the same, the sheet number has changed twice. John Ruskin was the first to cross out his original red ink number (429) and replace it with a new one (441), before a subsequent cataloguer, probably A.J. Finberg, crossed that out and replaced it with a new number in pencil (444).

Thomas Ardill
February 2011

Read full Catalogue entry


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