- Museum number
Richmond, Yorkshire; a woman walking with two dogs on a gently sloping hillside, a river below her with trees to right and l, rising in distance mountains and a town crowning a hill at centre. c.1826
- Production date
- 1826 (circa)
Height: 275 millimetres
Width: 397 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- This view of Richmond in North Yorkshire was one of the first to be completed for the series of 'Picturesque Views in England and Wales' Turner began for the publisher Charles Heath in 1825, and which was a major pre-occupation during the 1820s and 1830s. Turner based the view on drawings made in 1816 when he visited the town in connection with an earlier project, Thomas Whitaker's 'History of Richmondshire' (see 1910-2-12-274). Turner then made five sketches of the town seen from different viewpoints; the drawing used for the England and Wales' watercolour, was, in the estimation of David Hill, the first of the series (TB CXLVIII-14-13a; D. Hill, 'In Turner's footsteps', 1984, p. 62). The 'Richmondshire' volumes contained engravings of the views from the east and the south (R 169 and 170); in the present watercolour, the town is seen from the south-east. In the foreground is the River Swale, and beside the river, half hidden by the trees in the lower right, a mill built for grinding flax, which closed in 1811 and was reopened after Turner's visit, in 1823, as a paper mill. On the brow of the hill, to the left of the castle tower, are the church of Holy Trinity and beside it, the obelisk standing in the market place; and to the extreme right, the tower of Greyfriars' church.
The milkmaid in the foreground is an allusion to the famous song 'Sweet Lass of Richmond Hill', composed by James Hook around 1787-9; a similar figure occurs in each of Turner's views of the town, an indication both of the song's continuing popularity and the artist's love of visual puns.
The 'England and Wales' series contained another view of Richmond, in which the town is seen in the distance from the west (W808). This was engraved in 1829, but Hill has suggested it may orginally have been made earlier for the 'Richmondshire' volumes before the death of Whitaker caused the project to be curtailed (op. cit., p. 65).
Engraved by William Bernard Cooke and William Richard Smith for 'England and Wales'
David Hill, 'In Turner's footsteps', 1984, p.64.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1829 London, Egyptian Hall, Piccadilly, no.29 or 30
1829 Birmingham Society of Artists[?], no.424
1833 London, Moon, Boys and Graves Gallery, no.4
1958 Apr, BM, Eight centuries of landscape ... water-colours, case 3
1974-75 London, Royal Academy, 'Turner 1775-1851', no.421
1991 Jan-Mar, Cleveland MA, Ohio, BM English Watercolours, no.44
1991 Mar-June, N Carolina MA, BM English Watercolours, no.44
1996 Mar-June, Canberra, NG Australia, 'Joseph Mallord William Turner'
2000/1 Dec-Feb, London, RA, 'JMW Turner; The Great Watercolours', no.
2020 18 Jan-19 Apr, Yorkshire, Mercer Art Gallery, 'Northern Exposure: Turner'
- Associated titles
Associated Title: England and Wales
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number