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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner A Sunset at Twickenham; a Study of ?Black Bryony c.1823-4

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 2 Recto:
A Sunset at Twickenham; a Study of ?Black Bryony c.1823–4
D17836
Turner Bequest CCV 2
Pencil on white wove paper, 98 x 162 mm
Inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘Red clouds’ and ‘warm | yellow’ top left, ‘Grey w D[...] | Dun’ top centre, ‘Blue’, ‘Blue’ and ‘Clouds’ towards top right, ‘Curious Effect of Sunset | at Twickenham’ above centre, and ‘Bryonie’ bottom centre, upside down
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘2’ top left, upside down
Stamped in black ‘CCV – 2’ top left, upside down
 
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation is a heavily hatched and annotated sky study, recording a ‘curious effect of sunset’ above trees at Twickenham, beside the River Thames west of London, where Turner had a house at this time (see the ‘Sandycombe Lodge c.1808–12’ section of the present catalogue). Sketches on subsequent pages were made at nearby Richmond and Kew; see the book’s Introduction. For other sky studies, see the entry for the inside of the front cover (D40961).
The other way up on the other half of the page is a study of ‘bryonie’, probably black bryony: though both plants are climbers, white bryony (Bryonia dioica), has ‘five-lobed leaves, larger flowers and tendrils’, while the unrelated black bryony (Tamus communis) has ‘heart-shaped leaves, tiny flowers and no tendrils’,1 apparently as shown here. There are other plant studies on folio 1 verso opposite (D17835), under which similar drawings are mentioned.

Matthew Imms
December 2014

1
‘Bryony’, Royal Horticultural Society, accessed 8 December 2014, https://apps.rhs.org.uk/advicesearch/profile.aspx?pid=783.

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘A Sunset at Twickenham; a Study of ?Black Bryony c.1823–4 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-sunset-at-twickenham-a-study-of-black-bryony-r1172547, accessed 22 May 2024.