Joseph Mallord William Turner

Views of the River Medway, near Rochester


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 112 × 190 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXCIX 17 a

Catalogue entry

This page displays a variety of scenes observed along the River Medway to the northeast of Rochester, as identified by Finberg.1 These include a small collection of lines at far right, largely illegible in isolation. They comprise the western end of Rochester Bridge when considered as part of the drawing on the facing page, folio 18 recto (D17394). In addition, the sketch across the top of the page indicates this same section of the bridge at the centre of the composition, with the pointed spire of Rochester Cathedral towards the right. On the horizon, a windmill stands on the crest of a hill. The drawing beneath this is less sharply handled, although the broad architectural form at right could represent Rochester Castle. The rest of this view is predominantly characterised by voluminous trees.
Two sketches along the lower half of the page record views of the waterfront on the approach to Rochester. One appears to describe a section of the ramparts of the Castle which surround the tower. The second drawing, made across the bottom of the sheet, shows the rooftops of buildings overlooking the water.
For more information about the prevalence of Rochester in this sketchbook, and a comprehensive list of related studies, see the entry for folio 18 recto (D17394).

Maud Whatley
January 2016

Finberg 1909, I, p.608.

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