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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Grasmere, Looking South towards Rydal Water 1797

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 47 Recto:
Grasmere, Looking South towards Rydal Water 1797
Turner Bequest XXXV 87
Pencil and watercolour on white wove paper, 274 x 370 mm
Part watermark ‘1796’
Blind-stamped with Turner Bequest monogram towards bottom left
Stamped in black ‘XXXV 87’ bottom left, descending vertically
The point from which Turner made this drawing (with the page turned horizontally) is close to that of the preceding study on folio 46 recto (D01035; Turner Bequest XXXV 33), though as Turner scholar David Hill observes he must have climbed to higher ground, since the hill falls away in the foreground some considerable distance towards the water. The boat on the lake may be the one shown pulled up on the shore in D01035. The artist now faces south-east, so that Rydal Mere is visible over the brow of the low hill separating the two lakes (Hill notes that trees on that hill now obscure the distant view of the water.) The smoke rising beyond the Mere is presumably that of Rydal village. The broad slopes of Heron Pike are visible to the left, and Loughrigg Fell rises at the right. The low cloud that prevented Turner recording Helvellyn in D01035 is more explicitly shown in the watercolour washes of this sheet; though the nearer view of Rydal Mere on the following leaf, folio 48 recto (D01036; Turner Bequest XXXV 34), indicates that visibility had somewhat improved by the time he reached that spot.
Technical notes:
Formerly extracted from the shetckbook for display, the page is faded from exposure.
Blank; stamped in brown ink with Turner Bequest monogram; inscribed by Turner in pen and brown ink ‘Grasmere Lake’, ‘Rydal Water’ and ‘63’; and by A.J. Finberg in pencil ‘80’.

Andrew Wilton
August 2010

How to cite

Andrew Wilton, ‘Grasmere, Looking South towards Rydal Water 1797 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, August 2010, 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-grasmere-looking-south-towards-rydal-water-r1150211, accessed 18 May 2022.