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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Capriccio of the Thames at Isleworth, with the Pavilion at Syon 1805

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 12 Recto:
Capriccio of the Thames at Isleworth, with the Pavilion at Syon 1805
Turner Bequest XCVIII 12
Pen and ink and brown wash on white laid paper, 117 x 182 mm
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘12’ bottom left, descending vertically
Stamped in black ‘XCVIII 12’ bottom left, descending vertically
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
See comment to folio 11 of the sketchbook (D06195), depicting Isleworth riverside scenery of which this is a classical variation. Edward Croft-Murray, in pencil annotations to a copy of Finberg in Tate’s Library, recognised that it was ‘Based on Isleworth motifs’. Here the view is more idealised, especially on the left; a mountain has sprung up in the distance and boats on the river have an antique look, a trend continued in compositions following on folios 13 and 14 (D06197, D06198). Of this group of four Isleworth studies, the present example is closest to the Isleworth plate for the Liber Studiorum (see especially Tate D08163; Turner Bequest CXVIII I), with two clumps of trees to the right of Robert Mylne’s Pavilion in Syon Park. However, neither this drawing nor the plate are literal views, and here a building based on All Saints’ Church at Isleworth appears on the left.

David Blayney Brown
July 2008

How to cite

David Blayney Brown, ‘Capriccio of the Thames at Isleworth, with the Pavilion at Syon 1805 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, July 2008, 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-capriccio-of-the-thames-at-isleworth-with-the-pavilion-at-r1130380, accessed 15 May 2021.