The Medway about 1794 - 1797
The decrepit boat house provides a strong architectural accent in this river scene. The tall vertical posts recall classical columns and it may be that studies of classical ruins influenced the choice of composition here. Before joining Monro's 'Academy' Turner had studied with the architectural draughtsman Thomas Malton who specialized in views of London. He also coloured drawings for the architect Thomas Hardwick. The fine pen lines and blue and grey washes which articulate the structure and shadow follow the conventional practice of Monro's students. These included the gifted artist Thomas Girtin for whom Turner had great respect.

Glossary Open

Composition

The arrangement of different elements in a work of art.

Dr Monro's Evening Academy

Thomas Monro was a doctor, painter and art collector whose patients in the late 18th century included the watercolourist John Robert Cozens. Some of Cozens' sketches were acquired by Monro, who used them as the basis for classes at his house. J.M.W. Turner and Thomas Girtin attended Monro's ‘academy’ where they were instructed by copying Cozens' work.

Draughtsmanship

The ability to draw skilfully, often refers to technical drawing.

Wash

A transparent layer of diluted ink or watercolour.

Composition, Dr Monro's Evening Academy, Draughtsmanship, Wash

Details

  • Acc. No. D NG 854
  • Medium Blue and grey washes over pencil on paper
  • Size 20.60 x 29.70 cm
  • Credit Henry Vaughan Bequest 1900