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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Trees Reflected in Water c.1825

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 11 Recto:
Trees Reflected in Water c.1825
Turner Bequest CCXII 11
Watercolour on white wove paper, 114 x 188 mm
Part watermark ‘Al | 18’
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘11’ bottom right [now very faint]
Stamped in black ‘CCXII – 11’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
This is one of a sequence of twenty-five recto pages of watercolour landscape, sea and sky compositions between folio 9 recto (D18609) and folio 34 recto (D18638), many of which evoke quiet Thames Valley scenes with water in the foreground; for a checklist and general comments, see the sketchbook’s Introduction.
Here, against a background of featureless pale blue and gold washes suggesting the dawn, with no division between the sky and its reflection, Turner has included both a conventional stand of trees or bushes with thick foliage and the ghostly silhouette of a bare counterpart drawn with strokes of deft economy, superficially comparable to Chinese or Japanese brush painting.1 He has also lifted out colour in the sky with the wet tip of a brush to suggest the edges of high clouds catching the early light.
See also David Hill, Turner on the Thames: River Journeys in the Year 1805, New Haven and London 1993, p.176 note 84

Matthew Imms
December 2014

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘Trees Reflected in Water c.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-trees-reflected-in-water-r1172730, accessed 22 May 2024.