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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner A River with Castle on a Hill beyond Trees c.1820-40

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
A River with Castle on a Hill beyond Trees c.1820–40
Turner Bequest CCLXIII 213
Watercolour on white wove paper, 233 x 323 mm
Blind-stamped with Turner Bequest monogram towards bottom right
Inscribed in red ink ‘213’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CCLXIII – 213’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
On the skyline of the ridge towards the left, a castle-like building glows white against the blue sky, having been reserved as blank paper. More developed aspects of the foreground include trees and a footbridge.
Eric Shanes has suggested (probably fortuitous) similarities to various riverside subjects: Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire (see under Tate D25489; Turner Bequest CCLXIII 366); Morpeth Castle, Northumberland (compare the 1801 Helmsley sketchbook; Tate D02511; Turner Bequest LIII 29a); Cockermouth Castle, Cumbria (since reidentified as Egremont Castle in the drawings he mentions from the 1809 Petworth sketchbook; Tate D07528, D07532; Turner Bequest CIX 16, 20);1 or in relation to the watercolour Junction of the Greta and the Tees of about 1832 (currently untraced),2 engraved in 1834 for Walter Scott’s Rokeby (Tate impression: T04955).3
Other views in this section with distant towers or castles among hills include Tate D25267, D25321, D25351, D25359 and D25377 (Turner Bequest CCLXIII 145, 199, 229, 237, 254)
See Shanes 1997, p.194.
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.429 no.1086, reproduced.
See Shanes 1997, p.99.
Blank; laid down.

Matthew Imms
December 2015

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘A River with Castle on a Hill beyond Trees c.1820–40 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, December 2015, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, November 2016, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-a-river-with-castle-on-a-hill-beyond-trees-r1183221, accessed 26 May 2024.