J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner A Building with a Cantilevered or Oriel Window, Possibly at the Tower of London or by the River Thames 1825

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 8 Verso:
A Building with a Cantilevered or Oriel Window, Possibly at the Tower of London or by the River Thames 1825
D18721
Turner Bequest CCXIII 8a
Pencil on white wove paper, 187 x 113 mm
Part watermark ‘R Bar | 18’
Inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘w’ and ‘[?yell]’ towards top left, and ‘[?yell]’ towards top right
 
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Made with a blunt or soft pencil, this quick study of an apparently ramshackle building or buildings, made with the page turned vertically, was identified by Finberg as showing ‘Thames wharves’,1 presumably by its proximity to the preceding sequence of drawings on the River Thames around Old London Bridge (see the sketchbook’s Introduction).
It is possible that this structure relates to a detail of the watercolour of The Tower of London of about 1825 (private collection),2 most studies for which are in the River sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest CCIV) of a year or two earlier. A building with an oriel window (no longer extant) features towards the left of that design, as part of the fortress’s outer defences; however, it was already outlined in sufficient detail in the clearest River view (Tate D17819; Turner Bequest CCIV 34), so any resemblance to the present drawing may be fortuitous. Alternatively, the subject may have been up-river at Mortlake, seen in sketches on subsequent pages (again, see the Introduction).

Matthew Imms
December 2014

1
Finberg 1909, II, p.648.
2
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.358 no.515.

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘A Building with a Cantilevered or Oriel Window, Possibly at the Tower of London or by the River Thames 1825 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, December 2014, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, April 2015, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-a-building-with-a-cantilevered-or-oriel-window-possibly-at-r1172843, accessed 22 October 2021.