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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Coffer-Dams and Piledrivers on the River Thames above Old London Bridge, with St Magnus the Martyr's Church and the Monument 1824

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 23 Verso:
Coffer-Dams and Piledrivers on the River Thames above Old London Bridge, with St Magnus the Martyr’s Church and the Monument 1824
D17957
Turner Bequest CCVI 23a
Pencil on white wove paper, 100 x 160 mm
 
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
The full width of Old London Bridge is shown across this page and folio 24 recto opposite (D17958), looking east from upstream, with the Monument and the tower of St Magnus the Martyr on the left here, and the shot tower (now gone) on the south bank on the other page. Also on that page are piledrivers for the ongoing construction of the coffer-dams out of which the piers of the bridge’s replacement would rise. Work had begun in March 1824, as discussed under folio 22 recto (D17954), and Turner seems to have taken the opportunity to revisit the works on 9 November, Lord Mayor’s Day. See also the sketches on the recto and folio 25 recto (D17956, D17960).
As well as Old London Bridge, the drawings between folios 20 verso and 34 verso (D40967, D17979) include rapid studies and notes of barges, flags, costumes and bridges along the River Thames, and appear to record or relate to that occasion, as discussed in the sketchbook’s Introduction.

Matthew Imms
December 2014

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘Coffer-Dams and Piledrivers on the River Thames above Old London Bridge, with St Magnus the Martyr’s Church and the Monument 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-coffer-dams-and-piledrivers-on-the-river-thames-above-old-r1172675, accessed 24 August 2019.