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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner ?A River, with Rushes c.1834-6

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 13 Recto:
?A River, with Rushes c.1834–6
Turner Bequest CCXCI b 13
Watercolour on white wove paper, 77 x 101 mm
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘13’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CCXCI(b) – 13’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
For a discussion of the improvisatory and often erotic nature of the watercolour studies making up most of this sketchbook, see the Introduction. The title of the present work follows Eric Shanes’s suggestion of the subject as a landscape study, perhaps of rushes by a river,1 as opposed to the many adjacent paged evoking dark interiors and beds with figures; compare folio 11 recto (D28802), and see the Introduction, where other landscapes are noted. Shanes describes the way ‘Turner could explore remembered or imagined landscapes in his sketchbooks wholly in terms of colour’, even if ‘the visual data is so relatively minimal that the image seems entirely elusive and verges on abstraction.’2
Shanes 1997, p.65.
Blank, save for offsetting of watercolour from folio 14 recto opposite (D28805).

Matthew Imms
May 2014

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘?A River, with Rushes c.1834–6 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, May 2014, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, September 2014, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-a-river-with-rushes-r1149034, accessed 20 May 2022.