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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner A Wooded River Scene, with Boats and a Distant Bridge 1821

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 86 Verso:
A Wooded River Scene, with Boats and a Distant Bridge 1821
Pencil on white wove paper, 113 x 115 mm
Inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘[...]’ towards bottom centre and [?Sky]’ bottom centre
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
In its current truncated state, this page comprises part of a drawing of a wooded river landscape which continues across folio 87 recto opposite (D18840; Turner Bequest CCXIII 91). The leaf’s dating and current condition are discussed in the Technical notes below.
Technical notes:
In Finberg’s 1909 Inventory, he noted: ‘The following two pages may belong to this book. They agree in size and water mark. Page 90 has been cut down, and the two leaves mounted on cartridge.’1 The recto of the other leaf, folio 87 as mentioned above, is D18840 (Turner Bequest CCXIII 91).
The two leaves were presumably bound in here as part of the programme of consolidation and restoration of Turner Bequest sketchbooks at the British Museum following the 1928 Tate flood; in fact, the association is spurious. The outer part of the present leaf, measuring 113 x 79 mm survives elsewhere in the Bequest, listed by Finberg in one of his groupings of separate sheets: Tate D25519 (Turner Bequest CCLXIII a 4) and its verso (D40311). The clouds on the recto of the present leaf (D18839) match those on D40311, while D25519 is a small pencil study, separate from the continuous drawing on the present page and D18840. D25519 is now known as A Group of Boats at Rouen, and its similarity to other sketches made on Turner’s 1821 tour of France has led Ian Warrell to connect the two leaves now bound here with that year’s Paris, Seine and Dieppe sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest CCXI).2 Despite its title, that book contains numerous English subjects, so the view here could be English or French.

Matthew Imms
December 2014

Finberg 1909, II, p.650.
See Warrell 1999, pp.24, 265 under no.6.

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘A Wooded River Scene, with Boats and a Distant Bridge 1821 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-wooded-river-scene-with-boats-and-a-distant-bridge-r1172955, accessed 03 December 2021.