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Pope's Villa at Twickenham

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Joseph Mallord William Turner R.A., Pope's Villa at Twickenham\nSigned lower left: IMW Turner RA PP\nOil on canvas\n91.5 by 120.5 cm.; 36 by 47 1/2 in.



On leaving the exhibition of this painting at Turner's Gallery in 1808, Sir Thomas Lawrence acknowledged that Turner was 'indisputedly the first landscape painter in Europe.'1

The painting clearly stood out above all the other exhibits and was extolled in the highest possible manner; 'the painter has chosen to represent, and has represented with unprecedented success, the poetic hour of pensive feeling on a tranquil autumnal evening. We scarcely remember any picture that more powerfully imparts its prevailing tone of tranquillity.'2 The praise could not have been more moving and remains as apt and appropriate today.

This is a painting which held deeply personal significance to Turner. It represented his need for escapism and tranquillity at this time, his passion for this area of the Thames so near to where he lived and his devotion to the legacy of one of its most famous residents Alexander Pope. Whilst it demonstrates Turner's fascination with earlier landscape artists such as Claude Lorrain, Pope's Villa at Twickenham also illustrates Turner's development of a strickingly individual approach to the art of landscape painting. This was an approach which we now realise was to transform the once staid and underappreciated genre forever. Previously concealed beneath a thick discoloured varnish, recent conservation of this painting reveals the golden hues and hidden details of this most atmospheric and symbolic river landscape.

The painting has only ever appeared on the open market once. For nearly 200 years it has remained in the collection of James Morrison's descendants. It is the only landscape of those exhibited in 1808, and also one of the few major paintings by Turner, to remain in private hands today. On leaving Turner's gallery the painting was subsequently owned by two collectors, Sir John Leicester and James Morrison who were not only friends of Turner but had the means to collect only the very best art. Furthermore, both collectors shared the intention that Pope's Villa at Twickenham would ultimately form part of a national collection of art.3


On the banks of the tranquil river Thames, the dilapidated mansion of the favoured poet Alexander Pope undergoes reconstruction. The condition of the house is not at first apparent, but we notice on closer inspection that it is roofless, with gaping windows and scaffolding on the river front. It is not late, as 'the sun still gilds the landscape with his mildest radiance; and while the Thames glides gently on, with just no more motion of its surface than that gentlest halcyon ripple, which lengthens the reflections from the objects on its banks without destroying their forms, two fishermen are silently passing in their boat'.4

Whilst the last golden glow of the evening light catches the masonry of Pope's and other villas which nestle on the river bank, in the near foreground amongst the shadows of the trees three men converse around a fallen tree trunk. Identified at the time as country labourers who had been employed during the day on the work of destruction of the Villa, these men now hold an anxious debate over the future of the capital of a pilaster, ornamental frame-work and fragments of cornice, relics of Pope's house towards which one of them points.5 They are watched by a humbly dressed girl who, leaning tenderly on the shoulder of her shepherd, listens earnestly to what is being said. Undisturbed by the events taking place, sheep graze and doze in the evening warmth, whilst at the right hand side a fisherman strains to listen in on the discussion, as his partner gathers in the fishing nets and eel baskets.

The viewpoint for this painting is as if seen from the Middlesex bank of the river, looking up the Thames towards Twickenham, probably from river bank beside or within the grounds of Strawberry Hill (Fig. 1).6 Turner had recently purchased a plot of land to the right hand side of this view near Marble Hill and was to build an Italianate villa there called Sandycombe Lodge.7 By moving here Turner was seeking peace and refuge from the industry, commerce and activities of the town and the news and chaos surrounding the continuation of the Napoleonic Wars.8 The traditional appeal of the western reaches of the Thames as a rural escape from London also coincides with the years in which Turner was struggling to formulate his theoretical ideas about the potential scope and design of landscape painting.9 Following his election in 1807 as Professor of Perspective at the Royal Academy (and this painting is perhaps the first he signed with an addition 'PP' to his usual signature), he earnestly felt a responsibility and an opportunity to improve the regard of landscape painting currently held within the artistic establishment.

In 1804 when a young and disillusioned Royal Academician, Turner decided to open his own gallery at Harley Street. This was not only to provide better commercial prospects but also an exhibiting platform which would enable him to indulge his passion for landscape painting. It was views of the Thames that he considered instrumental in capturing an audience and importantly, a new patron's attention; 'the source of all the wealth and grandeur of this Metropolis... an imposing picture of active industry, pleasure and extended commerce, no where to be equalled in the world.'10

In 1805 Turner leased Sion Ferry House at Isleworth, followed by a larger house at Hammersmith in 1806.11 He spent the next five years sketching and painting the Thames and it's environs out of doors, directly from nature.12 He navigated the course of the river in a small boat, using it from which to draw, paint and even on occasion indulge in his other passion, fishing. It is the River Sketchbook (Turner Bequest, Tate Gallery, XCVI, Fig. 2) which illustrates Turner's studies for the stretch of the river around Pope's Villa at Twickenham.

Turner was conscious at this time of the prevailing view among the leading connoisseurs that the Old Master painter Claude Lorrain was the most prestigious landscape painter to own. This perception would have become more evident as Turner increasingly visited the homes of his wealthy patrons. Turner's drawings for his Liber Studiorum in their deliberate alignment with Claude's earlier landscape drawings for his Liber Veritatis illustrate his fascination with this artist at this time.13 Thomas Maurice had recently published a book entitled Richmond Hill; A Descriptive and Historical Poem, which demonstrates that Turner was not alone in drawing parallels between England and Arcadia. It was by no means an outdated Augustan fantasy but perhaps part of the appeal to Turner, that Twickenham in particular was currently perceived not only as the most elegant suburb reserved for the capital's courtiers, men of wealth, letters and art, but as an ideal society in itself, an 'Earthly Elesium' in which 'we seem to tread on classic ground.'14

Turner had been so awestruck by the subtle realisation of light in Claude's paintings that he professed them 'beyond the power of imitation.'15 As Pope's Villa at Twickenham and the other Thames views exhibited in 1808 illustrate (Figs. 3-5), they are clearly imbued with the golden light, meandering river and wistful mood of Claude's 'arcadian idyll.' However, Turner surpasses Claude technically through his innovative abandonment of the traditional method of building up an image on a dark ground, and instead he prepared this canvas using white priming. This was a process of developing an image more closely aligned to painting in watercolour on a luminous surface, and enabled Turner to represent even the most subtle and graduated atmospheric effects as visible in this painting. Furthermore, the recognisable topographical location of this painting recalls earlier British landscape painters of Thames topography such as Richard Wilson, Samuel Scott, William Marlow and Paul Sandby.16

Comparison with landscape paintings by Claude and Wilson demonstrate just how far Pope's Villa at Twickenham has evolved under Turner's hand from traditional conceptions. This innovative representation proved to Turner's contemporaries that 'no landscape-painter has ever before so successfully caught the living lustre of Nature herself.'17

Fundamental to Turner's theorising on landscape painting at this time was his belief that the painter was 'limited to the truth of what could be seen, whereas the poet's imagination was limitless.'18 The Thames already resonated with rich historical associations having been eulogised by poets throughout the eighteenth-century.19 James Thomson (1700-1748) attempted to encompass the view of the Thames at Twickenham in his poem Summer from The Seasons, first published in 1727.20 Like Pope's Villa at Twickenham, his is a pastoral vision, a landmark of early romantic verse that reminds us that the outstanding appeal of such prospects lay in their being on the capital's doorstep and an escape from the confines of London. Thomson invites the 'raptur'd eye' to turn:

 Here let us trace the matchless vale of Thames;

Far-winding up to where the muses haunt

To Twit'nam's bowers.

Heavens ! what a goodly prospect spreads around,'


The poet Alexander Pope (1688-1744, Fig. 6) had lived at Twickenham for twenty five years from 1719, in a Palladian villa designed by James Gibbs.21 Turner would have clearly empathised with Pope's desire to escape the demands of city life for the peace and quiet of the rural suburbs. However, such was Pope's fame that even sixty years after his death his villa remained popular with visitors and tourists. This so inconvenienced the new owner, Baroness Howe of Langar that she decided to demolish it and rebuild on the site in 1807.22 Turner was not the only person to respond with anger to the baroness's activities, as she became publicly known as 'the Queen of the Goths.' Turner was outraged by the destruction at the Villa and the apparent disregard for the legacy of Pope's memory. Whilst developing the composition of this painting he wrote the following odes;

 O Lost to honor and the sense of shame

Can Britain so forget Pope's well earnd fame

To desolation doom the poet's fane

The Pride of T[wickenham's] bower and silver Thame....

Hark the rude hammer

Harsh steel the sawn rafter Breaks

Down from the rood the massy [beams] give way

Rent [from] the wall, and let in the day....

No more I'll wear the lily on my brow

But sooty weeds now Popes fair fane is low23

'On the demolition of Pope's Villa at Twickenham:'

Dear Sister Isis tis thy Thames that calls

See desolation hovers o'er those walls

The scatterd timbers on my margin lays

Where glimmering Evening's ray yet lingering plays

There British Maro sung by Science long endear'd

And to an admiring Country once rever'd

Now to destruction doom'd thy peaceful grott

Pope's willow bending to the earth forgot

Save one weak scion by my fostering care

Nursd into life.... Wild fell destruction there

On the lone Bank... to make the spot with pride

Dip the long branches in the rippling tide

And sister stream the tender plant to rear

On Twickenham's shore Pope's memory yet to hear

Call all the rills that fed our spacious Urn

Till twilight latest gloom in silence mourn24

The destruction of Pope's Villa continued to play on his mind over the following years.25 However where Turner struggled to express adequately and coherently in words his feelings and thoughts, in the painting of Pope's Villa at Twickenham he is both poetic and eloquent. The tranquil atmosphere makes clear Turner's expression of this landscape as a commemoration, whilst the foreground details are deliberately placed to enhance the essence of the scene. 'Pope's willow' is perhaps the dead trunk in the near foreground, symbolic of the poet's slighted achievement.26 The poems and their relation to this painting were deeply personal to Turner and remained private. He exhibited Pope's villa at Twickenham in his own gallery without verse, and his poem never appeared in print. However, the nostalgia for Pope was clearly understood by his contemporaries; 'at the sight of this picture who but will be induced to pause, and reflect on the celebrity and the superlative merits of Pope? Who but will recollect that the landscape which has caught the eye and called forth the talents of Turner, has resounded to his lyre?27


In 1808 on visiting the exhibition at Turner's Gallery, John Landseer devoted more than three pages in his subsequent publication to an analysis of the beauties of Pope's Villa at Twickenham.28 He clearly understood that Turner mourned the loss of respect for artistic heritage caused by the tide of modernisation. He recognised that Turner had 'painted not merely a portrait of this very interesting reach of the Thames, but all that a poet would think and feel on beholding the favourite retreat of so great a poet as Pope, sinking under the hand of modern improvement.'29 He continued, 'in the scene before us, the Thames flows on as it has ever flowed, with silent majesty, while the mutable and multifarious works which human hands have erected on its banks, have mournfully succeeded each other; and not even the taste, and the genius, and the reputation of Pope, could retard the operations of Time, the irksomeness of satiety, and the consequent desire of change.'30

This painting was clearly the highlight of the exhibition, since Landseer only briefly comments upon the others; the Union of the Thames and Isis (Fig. 3) was a scene of 'Claude-like serenity, which is much admired for its exquisite colouring... and the delicate management of the air tint which intervenes between the several distances.' The Thames at Eton (Fig. 4) had a 'stately dignity' which alluded to Thomas Gray's poem 'Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College.' He then turns only briefly to a description of Richmond Hill and Bridge (Fig. 5) and the remaining Thames subjects. Ending his review Landseer suggests that; 'No pen can alone do justice to the merits of Turner's picture of the dilapidation of Pope's Villa. To be enjoyed and judged of by the public, it should either be seen, or the powers of the most accomplished landscape-engraver, should aid and lighten the task of the reviewer.'31

To answer that call in 1811 the painting was engraved, greatly to Turner's satisfaction (Fig. 7). From 1800 to 1810 Turner's prints were comparatively few in number, but in 1809 the small plate executed for him by John Pye illustrating Pope's Villa at Twickenham had a very important influence on the development of landscape engraving. John Britton, the enterprising publisher, specifically requested an engraving of Pope's Villa for his Fine Arts of the English School, 1811. In the illustrations to this and other similar antiquarian and topographical works, Britton had achieved a standard of execution higher than that current in English books of its class. On seeing the reproduction of his painting, Turner exclaimed in the most enthusiastic terms, 'This will do! You can see the lights; had I known that there was a man who could do that, I would have had it done before.' He went on to praise its 'pastoral simplicity, rendered sweeter by the serenity of evening.'32


John Fleming Leicester, first Baron de Tabley (1762-1827) (Fig.8) was born at Tabley House, Cheshire, the eldest surviving son of Sir Peter Leicester, 4th Bt. (1732-1770) and his wife, Catherine (d. 1786) coheir of Sir William Fleming, Bt. of Rydal, Westmorland. His father was the son of Sir John Byrne, 3rd Bt. of Timogue, Ireland and his wife Merial, the only child of Sir Francis Leicester, 3rd Bt.33 In 1810 he married the granddaughter of the architect Sir William Chambers, Georgiana Maria Cottin (1794-1859).34

Leicester became the 'greatest patron of the national school of paintings that our island ever possessed.'35 Encouraged by William Paulet Carey (1759-1839) an Irish artist turned propagandist for modern British art, and editor of the Literary Gazette, Leicester began buying British paintings in 1789. His first purchase from Turner was a watercolour of a Storm, in 1792 for 25 guineas and he would subsequently collect ten of his works.36

Leicester's patronage of British art was highly public spirited and in 1805 he acquired the lease of 24 Hill Street, Mayfair which was converted into a public gallery by 1818. In 1808 he had also converted three rooms at Tabley into another picture gallery, the same year that he purchased Pope's Villa at Twickenham. It was commented that 'in adding this picture to his collection, Sir John Leicester had added much to his former reputation as a tasteful collector of modern art.37

Pope's Villa was to hang alongside his other Turners in London; Kilgarren Castle, 1799, (The National Trust, Wordsworth House), The Shipwreck, 1805 (Tate Britain), A Country Blacksmith disputing upon the Price of Iron, 1807 (Tate Britain), Tabley, The Seat of Sir John Leicester, 1808/9 (University of Manchester) and Sun rising through vapour; fishermen cleaning and selling fish (National Gallery, London).

Leicester became rather enamoured of Turner as well as his art and following his recent acquisition of Pope's Villa at Twickenham he invited Turner to stay at Tabley House. He commissioned Turner to paint two views of Tabley House, one of which was to hang in London (now University of Manchester) and one of which was to hang at Tabley (The National Trust, Petworth House).38 However it was later suggested by the artist Henry Thomson that although Turner worked on his two views of Tabley and 'another picture' (probably Trout Fishing on the Dee, 1809) 'his time was occupied in fishing rather than painting.'39

In March 1823 Leicester offered to sell his collection to the nation to create a 'National Gallery for British Art,' but following a refusal by the Prime Minister he subsequently sought the support of others and founded the Manchester Institution. Following Leicester's death in 1827 part of his collection, including Pope's Villa at Twickenham was sold.

It was purchased by James Morrison (1789-1857) (Fig. 9). From rather more humble beginnings, James's father Joseph Morrison had been an innkeeper of the George Inn at Middle Wallop in Hampshire. Orphaned at an early age he moved to London in 1809 to become apprentice to Joseph Todd, a haberdasher in Cripplegate. In 1814 he married Todd's daughter, Mary Anne, and became a partner in the family business. He subsequently took over sole control and in 1835 he set up in partnership with an American merchant, John Cryder, and their firm were soon serious rivals to Baring in America. The American venture ceased in 1839 but his sons successfully nurtured his links in America and astutely invested in railways in both the USA and France. Morrison also had a strong sense of social responsibility and was elected M.P. for St Ives in Cornwall. In 1831 he was elected M.P. for Ipswich and by 1840 M.P. for Inverness, a seat he represented until his retirement in 1847.

Alongside his business and political projects, Morrison began to purchase property.40 In 1829 he successfully negotiated the purchase of Basildon Park, a fine Georgian mansion built by John Carr in 1767 for Sir Francis Sykes. He later wrote that he had 'seen nothing like Basildon.. such a house and such situations! What a casket to enclose pictorial gems!'41

Morrison built up an important collection of paintings including The Lock by John Constable (sold Sotheby's 14th November 1990, £10,780,000, Thyssen Collection, Madrid). He once proclaimed that, 'if I get very good things I shall become attached to the arts, if not I shall desert them for another hobby.' His collecting was to prove far more than a mere hobby and his first purchases were of works by British artists including; Hilton, Eastlake, Hogarth, Wilson, Nasmyth, Wilkie, Ward and Stanfield. He bought Pope's Villa at Twickenham and also acquired two further works by Turner – Thompson's Aeolian Harp, 1808 (National Gallery) and the large watercolour, Rise of the River Stour at Stourhead (Private Collection). Turner became a close friend of Morrison and stayed with him at Basildon Park.

Morrison then appears to have been inspired to broaden his collection to include old master paintings. In 1831 he bought The Rape of Europa by Claude followed by The Miracle of St Francis of Paula by Rubens and through the dealer William Buchanan bought the entire picture collection of Edward Gray of Harringay House for £15,000. This important group included masterpieces such as Rembrandt's Portrait of Hendrickje Stoffels, Jan Steen's Grace Before Meat, and The Four Evangelists by Rubens. Morrison went on to buy without Buchanan's aid, notably The Adoration of the Golden Calf by Claude (for an astounding 1050 guineas), a double portrait by Van Dyck of Lady Leicester and Lady Carlisle and works by Poussin and Greuze. Morrison can be termed a true connoisseur and became one of the chief supporters of the establishment of the new National Gallery.

After James Morrison's death in 1857, Basildon Park with its contents was inherited by his eldest son Charles, and on Charles' death without issue in 1909 it passed to James' youngest son Walter. Walter Morrison settled his property on his nephew, Colonel James Archibald Morrison (1873-1934) who sold Basildon Park in 1929. The collection was then inherited by the descendents of his daughter Mary who became the wife of Major John Dent-Brocklehurst of Sudeley Castle (Fig. 10).


Turner was later to proclaim confidently that 'it is through these eyes, closed forever at the bottom of the tomb, that generations as yet unborn will see nature.'42 This painting perfectly expresses Turner's understanding of the paradox of nature. The beauty of the natural world is absolutely apparent in the golden light which suffuses the sky and filters through the luxurious, voluminous trees. Yet this landscape, as much as it is a celebration of the beauty of this stretch of the Thames, is a  commemoration of precious artistic heritage.

Echoing his reaction to the destruction of Pope's Villa in 1808, Turner later wondered, 'so I am to become a nonentity, am I'?43 The underlying fear that he might be disregarded and even forgotten appears almost ironic today. As Pope's Villa at Twickenham attests Turner remains today not only 'indisputedly the first landscape painter in Europe,'44 but 'the mightiest enchanter who has ever wielded the magic power of art in any age or country.'45

Emmeline Hallmark is the Head of the British Paintings Department at Sotheby's


Know, all the distant din the World can keep

Rolls o'er my Grotto, and but Sooths my Sleep.

Content with Little, I can piddle here

On Broccoli and Mutton round the year ;

But ancient Friends (tho' poor or out of play)

That touch my Bell, I cannot turn away.

'Tis true, no Turbots dignify my boards,

But Gudgeons, Flounders what my Thames affords:

To Hounslow-Heath I point, and Bansted-Down,

Thence comes your Mutton & these Chicks my own:

From yon old Walnut Tree a Show'r shall fall;

And Grapes long-lingring on my only Wall,

And Figs from Standard and Espalier join :

The Devil's in you if you cannot dine.

Then cheerful healths (your Mistres's shall have place)

And, what's more rare, a Poet shall say Grace.


1. Sir Thomas Lawrence, 1808 as quoted in M. Levey, Sir Thomas Lawrence, 2005, p. 328.

2. J. Landseer, op. cit., 1808, p. 156.

3. J. Landseer, op. cit., 1808, p. 151.

4. J. Landseer, op. cit., 1808, p. 157.

5. It has also be suggested that the figure in the near foreground holding a walking stick bears a physical resemblance to Alexander Pope who was in fact a hunchback.

6. For a similar view see William Pars, Pope's House from the terrace at Strawberry Hill, 1772 (Lewis Walpole Library, Farmington, Connecticut).

7. P. Youngblood, "The Painter as Architect: Turner and Sandycombe Lodge", in Turner Studies, vol. 2, no.1, summer 1982, pp. 20ff, for a detailed account of Turner's villa at Twickenham, and specifically p. 22 for the identification of Turner's purchase of land on 4 May 1807.

8. 'Amid the rude jar of deadly War/ Hark the dread crash the fall/ And of desolation to bury all' (TB XCVI, River sketchbook, f. 75r). Transcribed in A. Wilton, op. cit., 1990, p. 155.

9. Earlier artists such as Sir Godfrey Kneller, Thomas Hudson and Sir Joshua Reynolds had either moved or bought a house along this stretch of the Thames in order to be conveniently near to London and yet enjoy the peace of a rural retreat.

10. D. Lysons, The Environs of London, 1796, I, pt. II, p. 446.

11. D. Hill, op. cit., 1993, p. 148.

12. Painting in the open air was practised at this time by many younger British artists who were aware that earlier landscape painters, like the Frenchmen Claude Lorrain (1600-1682) and Nicholas Poussin (1594-1665) had used their studies of the countryside around Rome as the foundation for large-scale paintings.

13. As suggested by Ian Warrell, op. cit., 2007, p. 15, fft. 17.

14. J.H. Pye, A Short Account of the Principle Seats and Gardens In and about Twickenham, 1760, p. 53.

15. A.J. Finberg, op. cit., 1961, p. 59.

16. See J. Gascoigne, Paul Sandby and the Earls of Harcourt, 2007 (Edinburgh University, unpublished MA thesis).

17. J. Landseer, op. cit, 1808, p. 152.

18. B. Venning, Turner Studies, vol. 2, no. 1, 1982, pp. 39-40.

19. For some of his earlier exhibits Turner had supplemented the titles of his paintings in the Royal Academy catalogues with extracts from literature, frequently selecting Thomson as his poet of choice which culminated in the large-scale Thomson's Aeolian Harp, exhibited at Turner's gallery the following year in 1809 (National Gallery, London).

20. Thomson lived in Richmond from 1736 until his death in 1748.

21. On the completion and publication of his translation of Homer's Illiad Pope now had substantial funds and built a Palladian House; see J. Simon, Alexander Pope's Villa, 1980. Pope's house had been re-modelled in 1720 by James Gibbs in the Palladian style. Palladio had recommended that the most 'agreeable, pleasant, commodious, and healthy situation' was to 'build upon a river... it will afford a beautiful prospect' (Isaac Ware, The Four Books of Andrea Palladio's Architecture, 1738, pp. 46-7). See Joseph Constantine Stradler, after Joseph Farington, Pope's House, 1795, aquatint, from W. Combe, An History of the River Thames, 1796, vol. 2, p. 4 illus. (London Borough of Richmond upon Thames – Twickenham reference Library).

22. Lady Howe's new house the forms of which are recognisable in Pope's Villa at Twickenham can be seen in W.B. Cooke's Lady Howe's Villa, 1809, engraving (London Borough of Richmond upon Thames) is reproduced in J. Simon, op. cit., 1980, p. 49, no. 45.

23. River Sketchbook (TB XCVI, ff. 71v-72r).

24. This occurs in Turner's verse book of 1808 and of which an earlier and less complete draft Invocation of Thames to the Seasons – upon the Demolition of Pope's House, occurs in the Greenwich sketchbook, (Turner Bequest CII p. 11 verso et seq.).

25. See also Windmill and Lock Sketchbook, TB CXIV, ff. 4, 77, watermarked 1808. Even in the course of his long poem on the Southern Coast Turner refers to Alexis i.e. Pope and the 'demolition of thy house forsooth' (TB CXXIII, f. 21r) and again on the western tour of 1811, in the Plymouth, Hamoaze sketchbook, Turner associated the destruction of Pope's house with the demise of Thomson (TB CXXXI, f. 188v) where he writes "Oer Thomson[s] tomb Morn dew, Dew drop beams, True friendship tribute shed for Pope's lost fane, Sunk is his House. Continued in his Woodcock Shooting book (TBXXIX) the Baroness' philistinism is discussed as a case of physical blindness, with reference to a well-known oculist of the day: Doth W Phipps continue on, To practise or lie still, A Blindness case required him now, To act even more by knowing Howe, (f. iv). The above as referred to in A. Wilton, op.cit, 1990, p. 129.

26. The weeping willow which Pope had planted in his garden was one of the first to be introduced into Britain and was synonymous with representations of his Villa. See J. Simon, op. cit., 1980, pp. 38-46.

27. J. Landseer, op. cit., 1808, p. 158.

28. The full text of Landseer's review of Turner's gallery in 1808, which originally appeared in the Review of Publications of Art, no. II, 1808, pp. 151-69, was republished, with notes and a commentary by Professor L. Herrmann, in "John Landseer on Turner, Reviews of Exhibits in 1808, 1839 and 1840 (Part 1)", in Turner Studies, vol. 7, no.1, 1987, pp. 26-33.

29. J. Landseer, op. cit., 1808, p. 156.

30. J. Landseer, op. cit., 1808, p. 156.

31. J. Landseer, op. cit., 1808, p. 159.

32. As quoted in W.G. Rawlinson, op. cit., 1878, p. xxvi.

33. He took by act of parliament his mother's name of Leicester in 1744 and came into possession of the Leicester estates in Cheshire.

34 He was M.P. for Yarmouth, Isle of White from 1791 to 1796 and for Heytesbury, Wiltshire from 1796 to 1802 and was created Baron de Tabley in 1826.

35. See S. Whittingham, "A Most Liberal Patron: Sir John Fleming Leicester 1st Baron de Tabley, 1762-1827", in Turner Studies, 1986, vol. 6, no. 2, p. 31.

36. Listed in full in S. Wittingham, op. cit., 1986, p. 28.

37. J. Landseer, op. cit., 1808, p. 159.

38. Turner's sketchbooks used on this visit are Tabley, 1, and Tabley 3 (TB CIII, CIV, CV).

39. J. Farington, Diary, 11 February 1809 as quoted in A. Wilton, op. cit., 2006 ed, p. 89.

40. In 1821 he bought his first house, a five acre property at Balham Hill. In 1829 he rented then purchased the Pavilion at Fonthill, the surviving wing of Alderman Beckford's house, employing the architect John Papworth to redesign the house and grounds and he even commissioned a yacht for the Lake. He also bought a substantial London house at 95 Upper Harley Street. Morrison then went onto purchase Islay in Scotland, Hole Park in Kent and Malham Tarn in Lancashire.

41. See Dictionary of National Biography.

42. As quoted in R. Yates ed., Lives of the Artists, 2008, p. 38.

43. As quoted by I. Warrell, op. cit., 2007, p. 13.

44. Sir Thomas Lawrence, 1808 as quoted in Levey, op. cit., 2005, p. 328.

45. Ghent Museum of Fine Art, Exhibition Catalogue, 2007, p. 37.


Oil on canvas


Joseph Mallord William Turner


London, Turner's Gallery, 1808;

London, Sir John Leicester's Gallery, 1819, no. 17;

London, International Exhibition, Fine Art Department, South Kensington, 1862, no. 334;

London, Royal Academy, Exhibition of Works by the Old Masters and by Deceased Masters of the British School, 1882, no. 175;

London, The Grosvenor Gallery Winter Exhibition, A Second series of a Century of British Art from 1737-1837,1889, no. 41;

London, Grosvenor Gallery, III National Loan Exhibition: Pictures from the Basildon Park and Fonthill Collections, 1914-15, no. 72;

London, Country Life Exhibition, 1937 (uncatalogued);

London, Tate Gallery and Royal Academy, Turner 1775-1851, November 1974 - March 1975, no. 148;

Paris, Grand Palais, J.M.W. Turner, October 1983 - January 1984, no. 14;

Washington D.C., National Gallery of Art, JMW Turner, 1 October 2007 - 6 January 2008, no. 27.


91.5 by 120.5 cm.; 36 by 47 1/2 in.


J. Landseer, Review of Publications of Art, 1808, pp. 151-59;

W. Carey, A Descriptive Catalogue of a Collection of Paintings by British Artists, in the possession of Sir John Fleming Leicester, Bart., 1819, p. 17;

J. Young, A Catalogue of Pictures by British Artists, in the Possession of Sir John Fleming Leicester, Bart., 1821, p. 17 (engraving);

G. F. Waagen, Works of Art and Artists in England, 1857, vol. IV, p. 302;

W. Thornbury, The Life of J.M.W. Turner, R.A., 1862, vol. II, pp. 235-36;

W. Thornbury, The Life of J.M.W. Turner, R.A., 1877, p. 333;

Sir W. Armstrong, Turner, 1902, p. 227;

C. F. Bell, "Turner and His Engravers", in The Genius of Turner, 1903, p. iv;

W.G. Rawlinson, The Engraved Work of J.M.W. Turner, R.A., vol. I, 1908, pp. xxv-vi, 33;

C. Clare, J.M.W. Turner. His Life and Work, 1951, p. 82;

A. Livermore, J.M.W. Turner's Unknown Verse Book, 1957, pp. 78-86;

A.J. Finberg, The Life of J.M.W. Turner, R.A., 1961, pp. 144-45, 149, 157, 184, 302, 469 and 478, no. 203;

D. Hall, "The Tabley House Papers", in Walpole Society, vol. xxxviii, 1960-62, pp. 93 and 120, no. 93;

J. Lindsay, J.M.W. Turner, His Life and Work, A Critical Biography, 1966, p. 128;

J. Gage, Colour in Turner: Poetry and Truth, 1969, p. 42, reproduced plate 43 (engraving);

M. Butlin and E. Joll. The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, 2 vols., 1977, p. 47, no. 72, reproduced plate 60;

J. Gage (ed.) Collected Correspondence of J.M.W. Turner, 1980, p. 264;

M. Butlin and E. Joll, L'Opera Completa di Turner 1793-1829, 1982, no. 135;

R. Paulson, Literary Landscape: Turner and Constable, 1982, p. 78, reproduced plate 42;

M. Butlin & E. Joll, The Paintings of J. M. W. Turner, 2 vols, 1984, revised edition, p. 55, no. 72, reproduced plate 82;

Professor L. Herrmann, in "John Landseer on Turner, Reviews of Exhibits in 1808, 1839 and 1840", in Turner Studies, vol. 7, no. 1, 1987, pp. 26-33;

J. Gage, J.M.W. Turner 'A Wonderful range of mind', 1987, pp. 189-92;

A. Wilton, The Life and Work of J.M.W. Turner, 1979, p. 111, cat no. P72, reproduced plate 112;

A. Wilton, Turner in His Time, 1990, pp. 77, 93, 107, 230 and 234;

E. Shanes, Turner's England 1810-38, 1990, pp. 62-63;

D. Hill, Turner on the Thames, 1993, p. 148;

A. Lyles and D. Perkins, Colour into Line, 1993-94, p. 31;

H. Brigstocke, The Oxford Companion to Western Art, 2001, p. 232;

J. Hamilton, Turner's Britain, 2003, p. 82, reproduced plate 59;

E. Shanes, Turner, 2004, pp. 88-89;

I. Warrell, J.M.W. Turner, 2007, p. 61, no. 27.


By John Pye (figures by J. Heath) for Britton's, Fine Arts of the English School, 1811.


Bought from the artist by Sir John Leicester Bt., 1st Baron de Tabley (1762-1827), for 200 gns. in 1808;

The Sale of Lord de Tabley's House, Hill Street, Christie's, 7 July 1827, lot 24, for 205 gns. to James Morrison;

James Morrison and thence by descent.

*Nota: il prezzo non corrisponde al valore odierno, ma si riferisce soltanto al reale prezzo di aggiudicazione al momento dell'acquisto.

*Nota: il prezzo non corrisponde al valore odierno, ma si riferisce soltanto al reale prezzo di aggiudicazione al momento dell'acquisto.


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