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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner River and Hills with Billowing Clouds 1824

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 15 leRecto:
River and Hills with Billowing Clouds 1824
Turner Bequest CCXIX 9
Pencil and watercolour on white wove paper, 160 x 235 mm
Inscribed in pencil by Turner ‘Wood pile’ left near bottom
Inscribed in red ink by Ruskin ‘9’ bottom right
Blind-stamped with Turner Bequest monogram bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CCXIX–9’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Rendered with fine and agile line, Turner has recorded a view of the Moselle and the soaring cliffs lining its banks. Sketching from a slow-moving boat, Turner was able to see and record small details such as a ‘wood pile’ on the bank at left and mushrooming cumuli drifting across the sky above.
This drawing bears evidence of Turner’s technique of ‘rubbing out’ areas of watercolour to create highlights; this is seen, for example, at centre in the clouds and mountains. He used soft materials such as blotting paper balled together, small chunks of stale bread, or a clean brush washed out with water to rub out pigment and reveal the whiteness of the support.1
Joyce H. Townsend in Evelyn Joll, Martin Butlin and Luke Herrmann (eds.), The Oxford Companion to J.M.W. Turner, Oxford 2001, p.285 entry under ‘Scratching Out’.

Alice Rylance-Watson
November 2013

How to cite

Alice Rylance-Watson, ‘River and Hills with Billowing Clouds 1824 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, November 2013, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, April 2015, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-river-and-hills-with-billowing-clouds-r1174917, accessed 27 June 2022.