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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner The Shot Tower and St Olave's Church across the Pool of London; Old London Bridge; the Tower of Southwark Cathedral ?1824

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 9 Verso:
The Shot Tower and St Olave’s Church across the Pool of London; Old London Bridge; the Tower of Southwark Cathedral ?1824
D17851
Turner Bequest CCV 9a
Pencil on white wove paper, 98 x 162 mm
 
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation, the main view shows the waterfront along the south bank of the River Thames near Old London Bridge, with the tower of St Olave’s Church and the nearby shot tower (both now gone). Below are details of the central section of the bridge and the tower of Southwark Cathedral beyond to the south-west, while at the top is a rapid sketch of a sailing boat.
There are slight strokes of pale blue watercolour at the bottom centre. Ian Warrell has suggested that these relate to the production of the 1824 watercolour known as The Port of London (Victoria and Albert Museum, London),1 engraved in 1827 as Old London Bridge and Vicinity (Tate impression: T06070); see the overall Introduction to the present Thames-related section. The background of the left-hand side of that composition would have been informed by the details recorded here.2
More than half the drawings in this sketchbook show the river around the bridge, and are likely to date from 1824; see the book’s Introduction.
1
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.358 no.514, reproduced.
2
See Warrell 1991, p.41.
Technical notes:
There are two adventitious strokes of watercolour at the foot of the drawing, as discussed above. Compare the similar marks on folio 10 recto opposite (D17852) and folios 11 recto, 20 verso and 34 verso (D17854, D17873, D17893).

Matthew Imms
December 2014

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘The Shot Tower and St Olave’s Church across the Pool of London; Old London Bridge; the Tower of Southwark Cathedral ?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-the-shot-tower-and-st-olaves-church-across-the-pool-of-r1172562, accessed 22 May 2024.