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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Arches 1831

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 17 Recto:
Arches 1831
Turner Bequest CCLXIV 17
Pencil on white wove paper, 74 x 94 mm
Inscribed in red ink by John Ruskin ‘17’ top right running vertically
Stamped in black ‘CCLXIV – 17’ top right running vertically
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Drawn with the sketchbook turned to the left, this rather faint perspective drawing of a row of arches may represent the Cloisters in the Market Square in Appleby, built by John Smirke in 1811. However, there also seems to be a perspective line to the right of the picture pointing towards the same vanishing point. This suggest that this is not a drawing from life at all, but an academic study, in the same vein as the three nude figure studies at the start of this sketchbook (see folio 3 verso; D25529). Turner was the Professor of Perspective at the Royal Academy from 1807 to 1837, although he had not lectured since 1828.

Thomas Ardill
September 2009

How to cite

Thomas Ardill, ‘Arches 1831 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, September 2009, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, December 2012, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-arches-r1133915, accessed 27 January 2022.