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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Hammersmith Bridge from Barnes c.1827

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 63 Recto:
Hammersmith Bridge from Barnes c.1827
Turner Bequest CCXL 63
Pencil on white wove paper, 68 x 110 mm
Inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘w’ below centre right and ‘Hammersmith B. [...]’ bottom centre
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘63’ top left, upside down
Stamped in black ‘CCXL – 63’ top left, upside down
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation, this sketch continues on folio 62 verso opposite (D22442). It shows Hammersmith Bridge from the Barnes bank of the River Thames, looking north-west to the waterfront at Hammersmith. There is a detail of the stonework of one of the twin stone Tuscan archways at the bottom left. The main sketch is notable for apparently omitting the deck of the bridge and showing a clear view of the houses beyond at that level, although the main cables are shown in place between the twin stone Tuscan archways, and also down to the twin toll-booths on the bank towards the left. The ‘w’ presumably indicates a white reflection in the river. At the far left is a smoking industrial chimney in the distance.
There is a second, much slighter sketch towards the top left, apparently indicating the twin arches and the cables between them beyond trees, again presumably from the rural Barnes bank. As discussed under folio 58 verso (D22434), where other Hammersmith views are mentioned, Turner’s studies of the bridge seem to have a rather provisional air, and may show it still under construction before its October 1827 opening.

Matthew Imms
August 2013

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘Hammersmith Bridge from Barnes c.1827 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, August 2013, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, September 2014, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-hammersmith-bridge-from-barnes-r1148593, accessed 20 May 2019.