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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Trees by a Lake or River, with a Cloudy Sky c.1820-40

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Trees by a Lake or River, with a Cloudy Sky c.1820–40
Turner Bequest CCLXIII 241
Watercolour on white wove paper, 177 x 314 mm
Inscribed in red ink ‘241’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CCLXIII – 241’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
The loose landscape forms here suggest trees reflected in a wide river or lake, beneath a threatening sky. Gerald Wilkinson compared this ‘showery’ scene to Tate D18638 (Turner Bequest CCXII 34) among numerous watercolour landscape, sea and sky studies in the Thames sketchbook of about 1825, and while not necessarily representing a particular spot, the present work may well have a basis in Turner’s long association with the Thames Valley (see the ‘Thames sketchbooks c.1804–14’ and ‘Thames, London and South of England 1821–7’ sections of this catalogue).1
For similar scenes with trees beside water within the present section, see Tate D25182, D25191, D25230, D25233, D25300, D25303, D25495 and D25498 (Turner Bequest CCLXIII 60, 69, 108, 111, 178, 181, 372, 375a), the last two of which could also be Thames subjects.
See also David Hill, Turner on the Thames: River Journeys in the Year 1805, New Haven and London 1993.
Blank; inscribed in pencil ‘58’ below right of centre; stamped in black with Turner Bequest monogram over ‘CCLXIII – 241’ bottom left. There is some brown staining or offsetting from another sheet.

Matthew Imms
December 2015

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘Trees by a Lake or River, with a Cloudy Sky c.1820–40 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, December 2015, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, November 2016, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-trees-by-a-lake-or-river-with-a-cloudy-sky-r1183224, accessed 18 April 2024.