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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner River and Hills with Light Cloud and a New Moon 1824

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 16 Recto:
River and Hills with Light Cloud and a New Moon 1824
Turner Bequest CCXIX 8
Pencil and watercolour on white wove paper, 160 x 235 mm
Inscribed in pencil by Turner ‘o’ centre, ‘W’ and ‘Cold’ centre towards right
Inscribed in red ink ‘8’ by Ruskin bottom right
Blind-stamped with Turner Bequest monogram bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CCXIX–8’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
This slight and fluidly rendered drawing shows the hills of the Moselle valley. A few trees lining the riverbank are suggested in loosely scalloped line and a waxing crescent moon hangs over the scene at top right. Turner has annotated the light cirrus clouds with ‘w’ for warm and ‘cold’ as a reminder of the tones of the sky.
This drawing bears evidence of Turner’s technique of ‘rubbing out’ areas of watercolour to create highlights. 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 Light Cloud and a New Moon 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-light-cloud-and-a-new-moon-r1174918, accessed 28 June 2022.