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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Boats and a Ship in the Pool of London near Old London Bridge, with St Paul's Cathedral Beyond ?1824

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 10 Recto:
Boats and a Ship in the Pool of London near Old London Bridge, with St Paul’s Cathedral Beyond ?1824
Turner Bequest CCV 10
Pencil on white wove paper, 162 x 98 mm
Inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘[?getting up K...]’ centre right
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘10’ top right, ascending vertically
Stamped in black ‘CCV – 10’ top right, ascending vertically
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
With the page turned vertically, Turner has made various sketches, juxtaposed at random, of shipping and associated figures in the Pool of London in the vicinity of Old London Bridge, which is seen in the distance at the top with the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral beyond to the north-west. At the bottom is an inverted skyline, possibly including the shot tower then on the south bank near the bridge.
There are slight strokes of grey and blue watercolour at the bottom left. Ian Warrell has suggested that these relate to the production of the 1824 watercolour known as The Port of London (Victoria and Albert Museum, London),1 engraved in 1827 as Old London Bridge and Vicinity (Tate impression: T06070); see the overall Introduction to the present Thames-related section. The complex jumble of shipping and figures in the foreground of that composition would have been informed by details such as those recorded here.2
More than half the drawings in this sketchbook show the river around the bridge, and are likely to date from 1824; see the book’s Introduction.
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.358 no.514, reproduced.
See Warrell 1991, p.41.
Technical notes:
There are adventitious strokes of watercolour at the bottom left, as discussed above. Compare the similar marks on folio 9 verso opposite (D17851) and folios 11 recto, 20 verso and 34 verso (D17854, D17873, D17893).

Matthew Imms
December 2014

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘Boats and a Ship in the Pool of London near Old London Bridge, with St Paul’s Cathedral Beyond ?1824 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-boats-and-a-ship-in-the-pool-of-london-near-old-london-r1172563, accessed 22 May 2024.