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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Windsor Castle from near Eton College, with a Willow Tree c.1827

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 9 Verso:
Windsor Castle from near Eton College, with a Willow Tree c.1827
D20609
Turner Bequest CCXXVI 9a
Pencil on white wove paper, 112 x 192 mm
Partial watermark ‘R Bar | 18’
Inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘Swans’ below centre
 
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Like those on folios 6 recto and verso and 7 recto (D20604–D20606), this sketch shows Windsor Castle to the south-east beyond trees beside the River Thames in the vicinity of Eton College. A tortuously twisted willow tree dominates the foreground, while Turner has made a written note of swans beyond, calling to mind the bucolic Thames sketches he had made around Isleworth in 1805, where grand buildings act as a backdrop to the river’s flora and fauna; see for example Tate D04163 (Turner Bequest LXX L). Turner’s note of them near the royal residence at Windsor is appropriate given the Monarchy’s traditional ownership rights over Thames swans, exercised through the annual census depicted in the 1915–19 painting Swan Upping at Cookham (Tate T00525) by Stanley Spencer (1891–1959).
For other views in the area and further discussion see under folio 2 recto (D20598).

Matthew Imms
November 2015

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘Windsor Castle from near Eton College, with a Willow Tree c.1827 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, November 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-windsor-castle-from-near-eton-college-with-a-willow-tree-r1183249, accessed 17 June 2024.