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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Trees and Buildings Seen over a Wall c.1800

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Trees and Buildings Seen over a Wall c.1800
Turner Bequest CXCVI X
Watercolour with stopping-out on white wove paper, 347 x 411 mm
Stamped in black ‘CXCVI X’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
In his 1909 Inventory, Finberg grouped this sheet1 with a sequence of drawings that he prefaced with a note explaining the difficulty of allocating either dates or, in many cases, subject matter, offering a general dating for the group of between 1802 and 1820.2
Although Finberg’s placing of the sheet towards the end of the list, together with his guess that the subject is Italian, implies that he considered it to have been executed around the time of Turner’s first Italian tour of 1819–20, there seems no strong reason to believe that to be the case. Neither trees nor buildings, in so far as the latter are distinct, are conclusively Italian, and the cloudy sky, sombre palette and overall handling suggest, on balance, that this is a work about 1800. The subject may have been observed in or near London.
Finberg 1909, I, p.601.
See ibid., pp.598–9, regarding Turner Bequest works CXCVI A–Z, listed pp.599–601.

Andrew Wilton
May 2013

How to cite

Andrew Wilton, ‘Trees and Buildings Seen over a Wall c.1800 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, May 2013, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, April 2016, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-trees-and-buildings-seen-over-a-wall-r1180071, accessed 23 April 2021.