Joseph Mallord William Turner

Two Landscapes with Trees


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 100 × 74 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCVII 10 a

Catalogue entry

With the page turned vertically, Turner has made two extremely rapid sketches of wooded landscapes. They are nevertheless likely to be actual scenes, perhaps on the Isle of Wight (see also folio 11 recto opposite; D18009), as each is accompanied by a specific note. The upper view has a ‘cold, Claude-like effect’, in reference to idealised, classical light of Claude Lorrain (1604/5–1682), whom Turner so admired and so often emulated;1 compare for example the Isle of Wight painting East Cowes Castle, the Seat of J. Nash, Esq.; the Regatta Starting for their Moorings, exhibited in at the Royal Academy in 1828 (Victoria and Albert Museum, London).2 For more on studies in this sketchbook relating to the regatta events at Cowes from late July 1827 onwards, see the sketchbook Introduction.
The second scribbled note is to the effect of ‘Red cart with a Barrow and Man singing’, for which there seems to be no visual counterpart. Among many such written notes of everyday activities, Turner occasionally made sound-related memoranda elsewhere, as Ann Lapraik Livermore has observed in relation to the artist’s interest in music; in the Holland, Meuse and Cologne sketchbook of about 1825 (Tate D19422; Turner Bequest CCXV 13) he records a ‘Mountebank selling Eau de Cologne, beating a drum’.3

Matthew Imms
December 2014

See Ian Warrell and others, Turner Inspired: In the Light of Claude, exhibition catalogue, National Gallery, London 2012.
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984, pp.150–1 no.243, pl.247 (colour).
See Livermore 1957, pp.172–3, and 1983, p.46; see also Lindsay 1966, pp.111, 234 note 62.

Read full Catalogue entry


You might like

In the shop