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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner A View or Views of a Town 1845

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 12 Recto:
A View or Views of a Town 1845
Turner Bequest CCCLV 12
Chalk and pencil on blue wove paper, 70 x 186 mm
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘12’ top right, ascending vertically
Stamped in black ‘CCCLV–12’ top right, ascending vertically
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
The drawing has been produced with the page turned horizontally. This is a sketch of a town view, possibly related to the less developed sketch on folio 11 verso opposite (D35355). It may depict a single panorama or separate views of various sections of a town. At the left of the composition Turner has drawn the beginnings of a steepled church, foregrounded by loosely sketched trees. Beside it is a brief outline of what appears to be neo-classical building, complete with portico and columns, perhaps a civic building or private house. A possible bridge over a river or canal may complete this composition or lead the eye to the remaining sections of the drawing. The centre is taken up with summary sketches of figures: a line of figures below and above them what appears to be a pedestalled statue of a crowned and seated figure, a monarch perhaps. The sketch continues to the right with a rough rendering of tree forms or buildings ending with a columnar structure, possibly the same one seen on the opposite page. With this in mind, this drawing and the one on the opposite page may depict the town of Hythe (see the sketchbook introduction).

Alice Rylance-Watson
February 2013

How to cite

Alice Rylance-Watson, ‘A View or Views of a Town 1845 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, February 2013, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, June 2013, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-a-view-or-views-of-a-town-r1142187, accessed 25 October 2021.