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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Buildings or a Town across a River c.1825-38

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Buildings or a Town across a River c.1825–38
Turner Bequest CCLXIII 176
Watercolour on white wove paper, 305 x 485 mm
Inscribed in red ink ‘176’ bottom right
Blind-stamped with Turner Bequest monogram near centre
Stamped in black ‘CCLXIII – 176’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
There appear to be two buildings with towers on the skyline at the centre, below rainclouds, the tower in shadow being reflected in the bright water below; they are perhaps among other buildings in an unidentified town. Eric Shanes has suggested this may be a colour study relating to the series of Turner’s watercolours engraved as Picturesque View in England and Wales (published 1827–38).1 Turner began delivering the finished watercolours early in 1825, hence the broad range date given here to the present sheet. See also the introductions to the present subsection of unidentified subjects and the overall England and Wales ‘colour beginnings’ grouping to which it has been assigned.
Shanes 1997, p.96.
Blank, save for inscriptions: ‘AB 150 P’ top left, upside down; stamped in black with Turner Bequest monogram over ‘CCLXIII – 176’ bottom right; and in pencil ‘CCLXIII | 176’ bottom right.
The ‘AB’ number corresponds with the endorsement on one of the parcels of works sorted by John Ruskin during his survey of the Turner Bequest, in this case classified by him as ‘Colour dashes on white. Valueless’.1

Matthew Imms
March 2013

Transcribed in Finberg 1909, II, p.814.

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘Buildings or a Town across a River c.1825–38 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, March 2013, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, December 2013, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-buildings-or-a-town-across-a-river-r1144361, accessed 25 May 2024.