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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Buildings and Hills 1811

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 1 Verso:
Buildings and Hills 1811
Turner Bequest CXXIII 1a
Pencil on white laid paper, 75 x 117 mm
Watermark ‘1798’
Inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘[?¿Anckerwick]’ centre right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
The drawing is difficult to make out, with houses to the left of centre apparently climbing a hill, and a group of low buildings at bottom centre which may be part of the same scene or elsewhere. They seem out of scale with the first group, and can be read as extending towards the bottom left corner. If there are two separate scenes, the steep slopes indicated to the right of centre could be part of either. It may be that the houses ascending on the left are the same as those descending in the sketch on folio 2 recto opposite (D08364).
Turner’s inscription is resistant to clear interpretation. Finberg’s ‘Purdiwick’ seems unlikely as it does not correlate with any obvious place name. The scene on folio 9 verso (D08379) is inscribed ‘Anckerwick’ or a close variation, indicating Ankerwycke in Buckinghamshire, on Turner’s route west from London, and the word here may be the same, preceded by an arrow pointing upwards. Whether there is any connection between the drawing(s) on the present page and the Ankerwycke area is unclear.
Technical notes:
Peter Bower reproduces most of the leaf as a look-through in transmitted light as an example of the watermarks on the book’s endpapers (see the introduction to the sketchbook).1 The ink inscription on the recto (D08362) has bled through in places on the right.

Matthew Imms
June 2011

See also Bower 1990, pp.95–6.

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘Buildings and Hills 1811 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, June 2011, 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-buildings-and-hills-r1136839, accessed 08 December 2021.