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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner A Tile-Hung Cottage Seen from the Garden c.1798

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
A Tile-Hung Cottage Seen from the Garden c.1798
Turner Bequest XXXIII G
Pencil and watercolour on white wove paper, 195 x 277 mm
Blind-stamped with Turner Bequest monogram bottom right
Stamped in black ‘XXXIII G’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
It seems likely that this is the ‘portrait’ of a house in which Turner was staying: the drawing has the characteristics of a view made by a guest of the house depicted, and might have been intended for presentation to Turner’s host. The tile-hanging suggests a location in Kent, and the cottage may have been that of one of his hosts in north Kent in the late 1790s, to which period the watercolour can fairly safely be dated on grounds of style. An obvious contender is his colleague the watercolourist William Frederick Wells (1762–1836), but Wells is known to have moved to Knockholt only in 1801, rather later than the likely date of the drawing. An oil sketch (Tate D05954; Turner Bequest XCV a A),1 inscribed by Turner ‘Wells’ Kitchen Knockholt’, furthermore indicates a larger and older cottage than the one in this watercolour.
Henry Fly, curate of St Katherine’s, Knockholt between 1791 and 1813, is another friend whom Turner may have visited, as is the Revd Robert Nixon (1759–1837), of the Parsonage, Foot’s Cray, with whom Turner and the artist Stephen Francis Rigaud (1777–1861) stayed in April–May 1798.2 This cottage, however, is surely too small to qualify as a parsonage, but might conceivably have been the home of a curate.
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984, p.28 no.35e, pl.46.
See Alexander J. Finberg, The Life of J.M.W. Turner, R.A. Second Edition, Revised, with a Supplement, by Hilda F. Finberg, revised ed., Oxford 1961, pp.46–7.
Blank; not stamped.

Andrew Wilton
March 2013

How to cite

Andrew Wilton, ‘A Tile-Hung Cottage Seen from the Garden c.1798 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, March 2013, 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-tile-hung-cottage-seen-from-the-garden-r1174950, accessed 04 August 2021.