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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Sailboats on a River in a Valley c.1830

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Sailboats on a River in a Valley c.1830
Turner Bequest CCLXI 97
Chalk and pencil on blue wove paper, 129 x 188 mm
Inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘W’ lower half, left of centre
Stamped in black ‘CCLXI 97’ bottom right
Inscribed in ink ‘97’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
This chalk and pencil sketch depicts a river scene. A chalk mark to the top left of centre appears to mark the position of the sun whose light is shown reflected immediately below it towards the bottom of the sheet as an oscillating chalk line indicating the surface of water. Around this body of water the shape of sailboats can be discerned. To the right is the river’s bank with trees running along it.
In the background the river winds its way between two hillsides further into the valley. A church tower with an onion dome appears on the hillside to the left silhouetted below the sun. To the right of the tower the letter ‘W’ has been written to indicate white.
For the grouping and dating of these works, see the section Introduction.
Blank except for inscriptions. Traces of white strips of paper along the edges of the sheet indicate an earlier mount. Inscribed in pencil ‘10T’ bottom right. Inscribed in pencil ‘D25069’ bottom right of centre.

Ben Pollitt
August 2019

How to cite

Ben Pollitt, ‘Sailboats on a River in a Valley 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-sailboats-on-a-river-in-a-valley-r1202182, accessed 17 April 2024.