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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner The River Thames at Mortlake, Looking North-East towards Barnes ?1825

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 44 Verso:
The River Thames at Mortlake, Looking North-East towards Barnes ?1825
Turner Bequest CCXIII 44a
Pencil on white wove paper, 113 x 187 mm
Inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘T’ or ‘J’ and ‘w’ left of centre, ‘w B[...]’ bottom right, and ‘w’, ‘B’ and ‘slate’ above centre, upside down
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
This is a view down the River Thames, looking north-east from the bank in the vicinity of ‘The Limes’, Mortlake. This stretch of the waterfront has a similar low-rise character today, although it is difficult to match individual buildings here to survivors among later additions. The nearer part of the view is inverted relative to the more careful sketch of the distance, which was presumably made first.
There is a similar view on folio 13 recto (D18728), which was carefully transcribed in the painting of ‘The Limes’, The Seat of William Moffatt Esq., at Mortlake. Early (Summer’s) Morning, exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1826 (Frick Collection, New York).1 Like that on the recto (D18773), the present drawing was perhaps made during a return visit to the garden of ‘The Limes’ in the autumn or winter of 1825–6. The main source for the painting’s overall composition is folio 11 recto (D18725); for more on the house, the painting and related studies, see the sketchbook’s Introduction.

Matthew Imms
December 2014

Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984, pp.144–5 no.235, pl.236 (colour).

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘The River Thames at Mortlake, Looking North-East towards Barnes ?1825 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-the-river-thames-at-mortlake-looking-north-east-towards-r1172896, accessed 17 May 2022.