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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Distant View of Spa 1839

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 23 Recto:
Distant View of Spa 1839
Turner Bequest CCLXXXVII 23
Pencil on white wove writing paper, 94 x 154 mm
Watermarked ‘[F]ellows’
Inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘Wood’ | ‘Road’
Inscribed by John Ruskin in blue ink ‘350’ bottom right and ‘23’ top right
Stamped in black ‘CCLXXXVII–23’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
This panoramic sketch of Spa taken from the surrounding Ardennes hillside is similar in composition to a drawing of the town on a previous folio (Tate D28082; Turner Bequest CCLXXXVII 21). A road winding down towards the town centre is seen in the foreground lined with trees and shrubbery. Turner has annotated the path and part of the distant topography with the word ‘wood’: a textual reminder of lay of land. The civic architecture is roughly suggested with the spire of the church visible to the right.
For other views of Spa in this sketchbook see Tate D28078, D28082–D28083; D28087–D28092, D28107–D28116; Turner Bequest CCLXXXVII 19, 21–21a, 23a–6, 34a–39a.

Alice Rylance-Watson
April 2013

How to cite

Alice Rylance-Watson, ‘Distant View of Spa 1839 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, April 2013, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, November 2014, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-distant-view-of-spa-r1150360, accessed 02 March 2021.