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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Buildings on a Hill by a Lake or River, with a Stormy Sky c.1820-40

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Buildings on a Hill by a Lake or River, with a Stormy Sky c.1820–40
Turner Bequest CCLXIII 254
Watercolour on white wove paper, 194 x 281 mm
Blind-stamped with Turner Bequest monogram towards bottom right
Inscribed in red ink ‘254’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CCLXIII – 254’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
This study has a more topographical air than many in the present generic section, but if so the subject is as yet unidentified. There is a pale building indicated rather perfunctorily on the hill to the right which, by the light showing through its windows, may be a ruin; and the vertical form extending above the skyline to its left may be a separate tower. Eric Shanes has tentatively proposed a connection with Turner’s ‘French Rivers’ series of the late 1820s and early 1830s, many of which were executed on somewhat smaller sheets of blue paper (Tate, including Turner Bequest CCLIX, and elsewhere).1
Subject to a subsequent identification, in the absence of clear landmarks in the composition and given the lack of a watermark the sheet has been left for the present in the context of generic landscapes. Other views in this section with distant towers or castles among hills include Tate D25267, D25321, D25335, D25351 and D25359 (Turner Bequest CCLXIII 145, 199, 213, 229, 237).
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, pp.409–17 nos.930–990.

Matthew Imms
December 2015

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘Buildings on a Hill by a Lake or River, with a Stormy Sky c.1820–40 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, December 2015, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, November 2016, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-buildings-on-a-hill-by-a-lake-or-river-with-a-stormy-sky-r1183225, accessed 18 April 2024.