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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Boats with Figures in the Pool of London near Old London Bridge; the Tower of St Magnus the Martyr's Church ?1824

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 3 Recto:
Boats with Figures in the Pool of London near Old London Bridge; the Tower of St Magnus the Martyr’s Church ?1824
D17838
Turner Bequest CCV 3
Pencil on white wove paper, 162 x 98 mm
Inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘R’ twice on figures in boat below centre
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘3’ top right, ascending vertically
Stamped in black ‘CCV – 3’ top right, ascending vertically
 
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
With the page turned vertically, framed by the masts of sailing boats at the top is a view west up the River Thames towards Old London Bridge, with the tower of Southwark Cathedral on the south bank beyond. Across the middle of the page below are quick studies of boats and figures near or on the shore, with ‘R’ as a colour note, probably for red, on the torsos of two figures.
Closest to the gutter, drawn with the page inverted relative to the foliation, are the upper stages of the tower of St Magnus the Martyr’s Church, which still stands nearby on the north bank, albeit obscured from the river by tower blocks. Compare Turner’s study of about 1794 (Tate D00695; Turner Bequest XXVIII J).
More than half the drawings in this sketchbook show the River Thames around Old London Bridge; see the Introduction.

Matthew Imms
December 2014

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘Boats with Figures in the Pool of London near Old London Bridge; the Tower of St Magnus the Martyr’s Church ?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-with-figures-in-the-pool-of-london-near-old-london-r1172549, accessed 09 July 2020.