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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Distant Hills c.1823-40

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Distant Hills c.1823–40
Turner Bequest CCLXIII 66
Watercolour on white wove paper, 341 x 489 mm
Watermark ‘J Whatman | Turkey Mills | 1823’
Inscribed in red ink ‘66’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CCLXIII – 66’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
This study evokes a distant range of hills beyond a plain or expanse of water. Eric Shanes has tentatively suggested a setting in either Italy or the English Lake District,1 both common subjects in Turner’s finished watercolours, but the intention may be more atmospheric than topographical in this case.
Compare Tate D25248 (CCLXIII 126) within the present section.
See Shanes 1997, p.98.
Technical notes:
Paler forms below the main range of hills towards the left have been indicated by scraping or lifting out some of the wet colour. The actively worked image only occupies about half the sheet, with blank areas above and to the left. The surface is somewhat rubbed, darkened and stained.
At the top left is a strip of heavy grey watercolour, evidence that the present work once shared a larger sheet with an unrelated composition; compare Tate D25498 and D25499 (Turner Bequest CCLXIII 375a, 375b), which remain undivided.
Blank; laid down.

Matthew Imms
December 2015

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘Distant Hills c.1823–40 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-distant-hills-r1183208, accessed 27 May 2024.