Joseph Mallord William Turner

View from the Ruins of Cliveden House, Looking Downstream Towards Maidenhead


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite and watercolour on paper
Support: 257 × 371 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest XCV 32

Catalogue entry

This was a right-hand page from the sketchbook. Turner seems to have moored his boat for an evening or overnight stop about a mile upstream from Boulter’s Lock, at Cliveden Reach. From there he painted an oil sketch (Tate N02707)1 of bargemen settling down for the night, cooking dinner over a fire whose light competes with the sun setting behind the wooded slopes to the left of Cliveden woods; the ruins of Cliveden House, which had been destroyed by fire in 1795, can be seen in the distance. Beforehand, or perhaps the next morning, Turner must have climbed up to the ruins to make this drawing looking back downstream towards Maidenhead. Others of the ruined mansion with its great arched windows are in the contemporary Hesperides (2) sketchbook (Tate D05871, D05872; Turner Bequest XCIV 19, 20).
This sheet is in poor condition, dirty and stained with oily marks at bottom right.
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984, p.118 no.168 (pl.168), as ‘Barge on the River, Sunset’. The subject is identified by Hill 1993, pp.98–9.
Blank. Laid down.

David Blayney Brown
February 2009

Read full Catalogue entry


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