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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner The Thames from Richmond Hill; ?Peveril Castle from Castleton ?1831

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 91 Recto:
The Thames from Richmond Hill; ?Peveril Castle from Castleton ?1831
Turner Bequest CCXXXIX 90
Pencil on white wove paper, with watercolour ,114 x 191 mm
Inscribed by Turner ‘[?Entrce]’ bottom left and ‘[?Windsor]’ top right
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘90’ top left, upside down
Stamped in black ‘CCXXXIX – 90’ top left, upside down
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
This sketch, inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation, continues for the full width of folio 90 verso opposite (D22318; Turner Bequest CCXXXIX 89a, under which the subject and dating are discussed), where the bend of the Thames below the Richmond Hill is shown in the middle distance, looking west. On the present page, the view is south-west across Petersham. ‘Windsor’ appears to be marked on the horizon.
At the bottom left is a small sketch of a cottage below hills with the square silhouette of a building on the skyline, possibly the keep of Peveril Castle seen from The Stones or Goosehill in Castleton, although it is now obscured by trees from immediately below. Turner’s inscription may indicate the entrance to the ravine leading to Peak Cavern below the castle. For other views of the castle, village and cave, see under folio 1 verso (D22152).
The presence of test watercolour strokes and washes of red, blue and dark yellow across the lower half of the page (including the impromptu colouring-in of the cottage in the subsidiary view) suggests that Turner had the sketchbook open at this point while working on a composition in colour. The general prospect on the opposite page correlates reasonably closely with that shown in Richmond Terrace, Surrey (Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool),1 engraved in 1838 for the Picturesque Views in England and Wales (Tate impressions: T04611, T06128), suggesting that it may have at least been informed by this version of the view.

Matthew Imms
April 2014

Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.403 no.879, reproduced.

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘The Thames from Richmond Hill; ?Peveril Castle from Castleton ?1831 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, April 2014, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, September 2014, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-the-thames-from-richmond-hill-peveril-castle-from-castleton-r1148967, accessed 07 December 2021.