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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Southwark Cathedral and a Piledriver above Old London Bridge 1824

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 23 Recto:
Southwark Cathedral and a Piledriver above Old London Bridge 1824
D17956
Turner Bequest CCVI 23
Pencil on white wove paper, 100 x 160 mm
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘23’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CCVI – 23’ bottom right
 
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
In this slight sketch, the outline of Southwark Cathedral and the waterfront along the south bank of the River Thames are shown. To the left are slight indications of piledrivers upstream of Old London Bridge, for one of the coffer-dams out of which the piers of the bridge’s replacement would rise. Work had begun in March 1824, as discussed under folio 22 recto (D17954), and Turner seems to have taken the opportunity to revisit the works on 9 November, Lord Mayor’s Day. See also folios 23 verso–24 recto and 25 recto (D17957–D17958, D17960).
As well as Old London Bridge, the drawings between folios 20 verso and 34 verso (D40967, D17979) include rapid studies and notes of barges, flags, costumes and bridges along the River Thames, and appear to record or relate to that occasion, as discussed in the sketchbook’s Introduction.

Matthew Imms
December 2014

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘Southwark Cathedral and a Piledriver above Old London Bridge 1824 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, December 2014, 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-southwark-cathedral-and-a-piledriver-above-old-london-bridge-r1172674, accessed 17 October 2019.