Joseph Mallord William Turner, ‘Willows beside a Stream’ 1805
Joseph Mallord William Turner, Willows beside a Stream 1805 . Tate

Room 4 in Turner Collection

Found in Turner's Studio: Landscape and Figures

Norham Castle, Sunrise

Joseph Mallord William Turner, Norham Castle, Sunrise  c.1845

Norham sits on the river Tweed in Northumberland, on the English side of the border with Scotland. Turner first saw Norham castle in 1797, during his first tour of northern Britain. He returned to the ruins in 1801 and 1831, creating work after each visit. Turner made this unfinished canvas late in his career. He uses colour to express the blazing light that merges the building and the landscape. It is one of a group of paintings Turner based on compositions from his ‘Liber Studiorum’ (‘Book of Studies’) (1807–19). This was Turner’s set of 70 engravings he had made from his watercolour compositions.

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Interior of a Great House: The Drawing Room, East Cowes Castle

Joseph Mallord William Turner, Interior of a Great House: The Drawing Room, East Cowes Castle  c.1830

Turner didn’t give this unfinished painting a title. It is thought to be a room in East Cowes Castle, the home of the architect John Nash on the Isle of Wight, where Turner spent the late summer of 1827. Near the centre, the bright emerald green and red vermilion give a strong colour contrast. Emerald green was the first intensely green pigment Turner could obtain, and it had not long been available. Turner created the light by using a palette knife, a brush, the brush-end and scratches from his thumbnail (which he kept long for this purpose).

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Reclining Venus

Joseph Mallord William Turner, Reclining Venus  1828

This unfinished canvas is one of several works Turner painted in Rome in 1828. He shared lodgings there with artist Charles Eastlake, who may have had a hand in painting the woman’s face. The canvas was possibly inspired by Titian’s famous painting Venus of Urbino. Turner could have seen it in the Uffizi gallery when he visited the Italian city of Florence on his way to Rome. Paintings of figures like this one are not traditionally associated with Turner.

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Rocky Bay with Figures

Joseph Mallord William Turner, Rocky Bay with Figures  c.1827–30

This unfinished painting was intended to be a subject from Homer's ancient Greek epic poems, the 'Odyssey' or the 'Iliad'. The scenery looks Mediterranean, there are suggestions of figures on the beach at left, with ships in the right distance and under the cliffs at left.

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Sunrise, a Castle on a Bay: ‘Solitude’

Joseph Mallord William Turner, Sunrise, a Castle on a Bay: ‘Solitude’  c.1840–5

This is a reworking in oil paint of a watercolour Turner first created for his ‘Liber Studiorum’ (‘Book of Studies’) (1807-19) set of engravings. In this set, he classified his landscapes into six types: Architectural, Historical, Mountainous, Marine, Pastoral and E.P. This work is marked ‘E.P’. E.P. meant Elevated or Epic Pastoral. Pastoral art showed an idealised view of the countryside. Turner’s E.P. celebrated the pastoral art of French painter Claude Lorrain (c.1604/5–82), who depicted the landscapes around Rome. Turner based the original watercolour on Lorrain’s Landscape with Psyche outside the Palace of Cupid (in the National Gallery).

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Willows beside a Stream

Joseph Mallord William Turner, Willows beside a Stream  1805

This is one of several sketches on canvas Turner made of the river Thames. He sometimes worked outdoors on from his boat, which he kept in Richmond. He painted on a roll of prepared canvas, which he presumably tacked in sections over a frame or board. Turner painted each sketch to a size of about 90cm x 1.2m, which he regularly used for pictures he exhibited. This suggests that these sketches were potentially the beginnings of pictures that could be refined later in his studio.

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Windsor Castle from Salt Hill

Joseph Mallord William Turner, Windsor Castle from Salt Hill  c.1807

This painting is one of a group of oil sketches of Thames scenery that Turner painted on thin mahogany veneer. It is thought that he probably completed them outdoors, which was not Turner’s usual practice. They are the closest he came to making the kind of observational studies from nature produced by some of his fellow landscape artists, such as John Constable. They were used as part of their preparations for exhibition paintings. Whereas Constable’s sketches demonstrate a concern with direct, sometimes random, observations of nature, Turner shows a greater interest in the overall composition.

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Art in this room

Norham Castle, Sunrise
Joseph Mallord William Turner Norham Castle, Sunrise c.1845
Interior of a Great House: The Drawing Room, East Cowes Castle
Joseph Mallord William Turner Interior of a Great House: The Drawing Room, East Cowes Castle c.1830
Reclining Venus
Joseph Mallord William Turner Reclining Venus 1828
Rocky Bay with Figures
Joseph Mallord William Turner Rocky Bay with Figures c.1827–30
Sunrise, a Castle on a Bay: ‘Solitude’
Joseph Mallord William Turner Sunrise, a Castle on a Bay: ‘Solitude’ c.1840–5
Willows beside a Stream
Joseph Mallord William Turner Willows beside a Stream 1805
Windsor Castle from Salt Hill
Joseph Mallord William Turner Windsor Castle from Salt Hill c.1807