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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Richmond Hill and Bridge c.1819

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 29 Recto:
Richmond Hill and Bridge c.1819
Turner Bequest CLXIX 29
Pencil on white wove paper, 87 x 119 mm
Inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘Grey’ top centre, ‘Blue’ and ‘Warm’ centre left, ‘Houses warm against the sky’ at centre, and ‘[?warm]’ and ‘[?Bu]ful Refction’ bottom left
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘29’ top left, upside down (faint and smudged)
Stamped in black ‘CLXIX – 29’ top left, upside down
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
This study, inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation, continues across folio 28 verso opposite (D13795). It appears to show the bridge at Richmond upon Thames, looking south from the Twickenham bank towards Richmond Hill in the distance, and is closely comparable to the watercolour Richmond Hill and Bridge of about 1828–9 (British Museum, London),1 engraved in 1832 for the Picturesque Views in England and Wales (Tate impressions: T04581, T04582). The colour notes in the sky here and D13796’s ‘Red tinged Clouds’ are evident in the finished composition, which incorporates others specifics including the boats and wooded island shown here and the form of the central tree on the opposite page. The meadows in the foreground have since been developed with houses and gardens fronting the river.
There are similar views, with some aspects shown in more detail, in the Richmond Hill; Hastings to Margate sketchbook (Tate D10445–D10447; Turner Bequest CXL 19, 19a, 20). The party of elegant, picnicking figures in the watercolour is comparable to that shown in Turner’s large painting England: Richmond Hill, on the Prince Regent’s Birthday, exhibited in 1819 (Tate N00502);2 see also the figure sketch on folio 2 recto (D13753), including a parasol, an item which features in both the watercolour and the painting.
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.397 no.833, pl.190.
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984, pp.106–7 no.140, Pl.145 (colour).

Matthew Imms
September 2013

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘Richmond Hill and Bridge c.1819 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, September 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-richmond-hill-and-bridge-r1147519, accessed 26 February 2021.