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High force, Fall of the Tees, Yorkshire



Joseph Mallord William Turner


1775 – 1851

  • Details

    Media category
    Materials used
    watercolour and scraping out
    28.3 x 40.3 cm sheet; 28.2 x 39.8 cm sight; 48.0 x 59.6 x 5.5 cm frame
    Signature & date

    Not signed. Not dated.

    Purchased 1947
    Not on display
    Accession number

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Joseph Mallord William Turner

    Works in the collection


  • About

    This watercolour was commissioned from Turner in 1816 as one of a series intended to serve as an engraved illustration to a 'History of Richmondshire' by the Rev. Thomas Dunham Whitaker. Turner spent the summer of 1816 on a sketching tour of Yorkshire. His base was Farnley Hall, the seat of his friend, William Fawkes. He worked at great speed on a number of watercolours simultaneously, building up his landscapes with fluid washes of translucent colour. Witnessing Turner at work, the Fawkes girls recalled "cords spread across the room as in that of a washer woman, and papers tinted with pink and blue and yellow hanging on them to dry".

    When these sheets were dry Turner added final details with the point of the brush, such as the two fishermen, casting and netting, in the pool. A keen angler, Turner would have been interested that High Force was an impassable barrier to salmon, and that the pool at its base was often full of fish. He depicted the cascading water and ripples on the pool by scraping out areas of paint to expose the paper beneath.

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 9 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 11 publications

  • Provenance

    Walter Ramsden Fawkes, pre 1825, England, Farnley Hall, Otley near Leeds. a Member of Parliament and High Sherriff

    Rev. Ayscough Fawkes, 1825-27 Jun 1890, England, by descent to Ayscough Fawkes. Sold Chritie's London, 27 June 1890, lot 39

    Sir Henry Doulton, 27 Jun 1890-1897, England, Purchased from Ayscongh Fawkes' sale of Turner drawings from Farnley Hall through Christie's 27 June 1890 lot 39.

    Miss Doulton, 1897-circa 1947, England, by descent, sold to P & D Colnaghi & Co.

    P & D Colnaghi and Co, pre Mar 1947, London/England, Purchased by the AGNSW from Colnaghi's 1947

Other works by Joseph Mallord William Turner

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