The Bridge in Middle Distance (Liber Studiorum, part III, plate 13)

Designed and etched by Joseph Mallord William Turner (British, London 1775–1851 London)
Engraved and published by Charles Turner (British, Woodstock, Oxfordshire 1774–1857 London)
June 10, 1808
Etching, aquatint and mezzotint; first state of five (Finberg)
plate: 7 1/8 x 10 7/8 in. (18.1 x 27.6 cm)
sheet: 8 x 11 1/2 in. (20.3 x 29.2 cm)
Credit Line:
Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1928
Accession Number:
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. Professional engravers usually developed the tone under Turner's direction, and Charles Turner here added aquatint and mezzotint to describe a broad river spanned by a long, multi-arched classical bridge. Tall trees screen the setting sun as two women in the foreground listen to a pipe player. 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 by J.M.W. Turner Esqr. R.A.P.P. / Engraved by C. Turner"

Inscription: in plate, above image: "EP"; below: "London Published June 10. 1808, by C. Turner No. 50, Warren Street, Fitzroy Square"
Vendor: P. & D. Colnaghi & Co.
Finberg 13 i/v; Rawlinson 13 i/iv
William George Rawlinson Turner's Liber Studiorum: A Description and A Catalogue. Macmillan & Co., 2nd ed. London, 1906, cat. no. 13 i/v, pp. 39-40.

Alexander Joseph Finberg The History of Turner's Liber Studiorum, with a new catalogue raisonné. Ernest Benn Limited, London, 1924, cat. no. 13 i/v, pp. 50-52.

Robert Upstone Turner: The Second Decade exh. cat., Tate Gallery. Tate Gallery, London, 1989, cat. no. 20, p. 26.

Andrew Wilton, Rosalind Turner Painting and Poetry: Turner's Verse Book and His Work of 1804-1812 exh. cat., Tate Gallery, London. 1990, cat. no. 33, p. 128.

Gillian Forrester Turner's 'Drawing Book': The Liber Studiorum, exh. cat., London, Tate Gallery, 20 February–2 June. London, 1996, illustrates: related watercolor, ca. 1806-7 (Tate Britain), and first published state, 1808, cat. no. 13, pp. 60-61.