- Museum number
Worcester; view from the river, the castle on the right bank in the distance and the town beyond, several small boats carrying passengers in the foreground. c.1833
Watercolour, touched with bodycolour
- Production date
- 1833 (circa)
Height: 292 millimetres
Width: 439 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Engraved by Thomas Jeavons for 'England and Wales' (1835).
Ref: C. Reginald Grundy, 'The Beecham Collection III Works by Turner', 'Connoisseur', XXXVIII, April 1914, p. 232, repr. p. 230.
In 1833, when Charles Heath exhibited the sixty-six watercolours Turner had so far completed for the 'England and Wales' series, two of the views showing the exciting new economic growth in the Black Country, 'Coventry' (1958,0712.434) and Dudley (W 858), were included. This watercolour of 'Worcester' was not, but the sketches on which it was based (TB CCXXXIX 80v, 81) were made on the same Midland tour, and it must have been completed during the following year, as it was engraved in 1835.
The cathedral city and county town of Worcester was an active and growing centre. The Severn river and its canals were its busy roadways, linking it with the south-west and the new industrial Midlands to the north-east. As in his watercolour of 'Coventry', with its donkeys, sheep and cattle in a meadow sharing the foreground with the turnpike road rushing to connect it with other expanding centres, in this view Turner contrasts traditional rural means of livelihood - the women with their eel traps in the middle of the river -with the boats on the right heavily laden with their bundles of wool for the carpet manufactories or clay for the porcelain works, while other river craft and boats line the banks of the canal as it winds its way through the city. This watercolour shares with 'Coventry' the motif of a passing storm and its lovely pinks, blues and greys, and it may have been conceived as a pendant to Turner's vision of the latter as a new "celestial city" in his own pilgrim's progress through "modern" Britain. There are no dark chimneys here with ominously rising smoke, but the sun's rays slant diagonally from a passing storm-cloud to reveal another cathedral city where the old religion with its shining spires is making room for a new one with square mills and warehouses rising at its feet.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1896, Guildhall, no.10 (catalogue mistakenly says engr. by Basire,1804)
1909, Agnew's. no.30
1919, Agnew's, no.25
1951, Agnew's, no. 77
1959, 1960, BM
1966 Feb, BM, Turner Lloyd Bequest, no.30
1969 Feb, BM, Turner Lloyd Bequest, no.30
1975 BM, Turner in the BM, no.200
1998 May-Sept., BM, J.M.W.Turner: Lloyd Bequest, no.34
- Associated titles
Associated Title: England and Wales
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- UNDER THE TERMS OF THE BEQUEST, NONE OF THE PRINTS OR DRAWINGS BEQUEATHED BY R. W. LLOYD MAY BE LENT OUTSIDE THE BRITISH MUSEUM (Registration Numbers 1958,0712.318 to 3149).
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number