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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner River Scene, with Boats c.1830

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
River Scene, with Boats c.1830
Turner Bequest CCLIX 264
Gouache and watercolour on blue wove paper, 138 x 188 mm
Blind-stamped with Turner Bequest monogram towards bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CCLIX 264’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Surrounded by two towering mountains, a flat-bottomed boat, laden with goods, is shown making its way along a river. Four figures can be discerned, two at the boat’s prow and two at the stern, one steering the rudder, the other appearing to propel the vessel with a pole or an oar, underneath which a zigzagging line of white suggests the water’s agitated surface.
Finberg’s 1909 Inventory included this in a group of sketches ‘mostly connected with the “French Rivers” series’, although ‘some Belgian subjects have also been included, and there may possibly be some Rhine and even English subjects among them’;1 in the absence of later suggestions, the date used is derived from Finberg.
Compare Tate D40081 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 264b), a similar subject exhibited along with the present sheet in the Third Loan Collection from the Bequest, but not listed in the Inventory. For the grouping and dating of these works, see the section Introduction.
Finberg 1909, II, p.789.
Blank except for inscriptions. Traces of white strips of paper along the edges of the sheet indicate an earlier mount. Inscribed in pencil ‘D24813’ bottom left. Inscribed in pencil ‘CCLIX 264 (a)’ bottom centre and ‘D24829’ bottom right of centre.

Ben Pollitt
August 2019

How to cite

Ben Pollitt, ‘River Scene, with Boats c.1830 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, August 2019, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, March 2023, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-river-scene-with-boats-r1202166, accessed 27 May 2024.