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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner A Thames Bridge; an Amorous Couple Fishing; Children Fishing; a Horse-Drawn Waggon; a Wooded Riverside Landscape c.1823-4

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 41 Verso:
A Thames Bridge; an Amorous Couple Fishing; Children Fishing; a Horse-Drawn Waggon; a Wooded Riverside Landscape c.1823–4
D17906
Turner Bequest CCV 41a
Pencil on white wove paper, 162 x 98 mm
Inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘[...]’ towards top left, ‘Love instead of fishing | Blue apron’ towards top right’, ‘white’ above centre, ‘Children fishing | with clothes tucked up’ above centre right, ‘Artillery [?Yeoman]’ centre, ‘Hay’, ‘[?Thames]’, ‘sack [... ?ready]’ and ‘Water Cart’ towards bottom right, upside down, and ‘[?n...]’ towards bottom left, upside down
 
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
With the page turned vertically, Turner has recorded a number of unrelated scenes and incidents which appear to have caught his eye incidentally. At the top left is a slight view looking up from the water at a substantial bridge; many of the studies in the present book show Old London Bridge, and this to may be it or another of the Thames bridges. At the top left is a rapid but telling impression of a man, leaning in towards a woman; the long vertical line running down between them may be his fishing rod but they are engaged in ‘Love instead of fishing’. Below, above figures beside a silhouetted, beached sailing boat on the foreshore is a note of ‘children fishing with clothes tucked up’; compare folio 4 recto (D17840), with its ‘children digging a sandheap’.1
Inverted below are three small studies of figures and what is noted as a ‘water cart’. Occupying the same register are what seems to be an ‘Artillery Yeoman’ and galloping horses pulling a gun carriage. Lastly, inverted at the gutter comes an arcade in a wooded setting seemingly labelled ‘Thames’, perhaps at a wharf or boatyard up-river west of London; there are identified views around Richmond upon Thames at the beginning of this sketchbook, and others at this end likely to be in the vicinity; see the Introduction.

Matthew Imms
December 2014

1
For examples of Turner’s attitude to children and depictions of them, see Lindsay 1966, pp.16–20; see also Lindsay 1985, p.9.

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘A Thames Bridge; an Amorous Couple Fishing; Children Fishing; a Horse-Drawn Waggon; a Wooded Riverside Landscape 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-thames-bridge-an-amorous-couple-fishing-children-fishing-a-r1172620, accessed 29 July 2021.