Junction of Severn and Wye (Liber Studiorum, part VI, plate 28)
Artist and publisher:
Joseph Mallord William Turner (British, London 1775–1851 London)
Etching, aquatint and mezzotint; first state of three
plate: 7 1/8 x 10 7/16 in. (18.1 x 26.5 cm)
sheet: 8 x 11 1/2 in. (20.3 x 29.2 cm)
Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1928
Not on view
Turner distilled his ideas about landscape In "Liber Studiorum" (Latin for Book of Studies), a series of seventy prints plus a frontispiece published between 1807 and 1819. To establish the compositions, he made brown watercolor drawings, then etched outlines onto copper plates. This is one of the few instances where Turner also developed the tone, using aquatint and mezzotint to describe a low sun illuminating the confluence of two major rivers. Marking the border of England and Wales, the Wye flows past the ancient town of Chepstow to join the Severn, with their estuary emptying into the Bristol Channel. The letters "EP" in the upper margin likely stand for Elevated Pastoral, and were applied by Turner to landscapes within the set that echo the Arcadian sensibility of Claude.
Signature: in plate: "Drawn, Etched & Engraved by J.M.W. Turner Esq-r R.A."
Inscription: in plate, above image: "EP"; below: "Published June 1811 by Mr. Turner, Queen Ann Street West"
Vendor: P. & D. Colnaghi & Co.
Finberg 28 i/iii; Rawlinson 28 i/iii
William George Rawlinson Turner's Liber Studiorum: A Description and A Catalogue. Macmillan & Co., 2nd ed. London, 1906, cat. no. 28 i/iii, pp. 73-4.
Alexander Joseph Finberg The History of Turner's Liber Studiorum, with a new catalogue raisonné. Ernest Benn Limited, London, 1924, cat. no. 28 i/iii, pp. 110-13.
Gillian Forrester Turner's 'Drawing Book': The Liber Studiorum, exh. cat., London, Tate Gallery, 20 February–2 June. London, 1996, illustrates: related watercolor, ca. 1806 (Tate Britain), and first published state, 1811, cat. no. 28, pp. 78-9.