National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Mortlake Terrace Joseph Mallord William Turner (artist)
British, 1775 - 1851
Mortlake Terrace, 1827
oil on canvas
overall: 92.1 x 122.2 cm (36 1/4 x 48 1/8 in.) framed: 111.1 x 143.2 x 9.5 cm (43 3/4 x 56 3/8 x 3 3/4 in.)
Andrew W. Mellon Collection
1937.1.109
On View
From the Tour: Constable and Turner — British Landscapes of the Early 1800s
Object 4 of 11

A fashionable London suburb, Mortlake Terrace lies next to the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew, visible here on the distant bend of the River Thames. This is one of a pair of views commissioned by the owner of a town house, The Limes, named after the magnificent lime trees lining its terrace. Both scenes daringly portray the blazing disk of the sun itself, which here flashes a reflection from the stone parapet.

The companion piece, now in New York City’s Frick Collection, depicts the house at sunrise. Reversing the view, this picture looks west over the garden at sunset after the children have abandoned their toys. A black dog barks at the Lord Mayor’s flag-decked barge. This dark accent, which enhances the summer evening’s hazy paleness, was a last-minute addition. Just before the Royal Academy show opened in 1827, Turner cut the dog out of paper, stuck it onto the wet varnish, and touched it up with highlights and a collar.

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