A watercolour drawing of a barn on the edge of a lake, with the city of Colchester seen in the background. The lake is still and reflects the trees and buildings above. A horse is seen standing in and drinking from the lake, and on the horse's back a man waves to two small figures chasing a dog towards the water's edge.
Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851), Colchester, Essex, 1825-1826, The Courtauld, London (Samuel Courtauld Trust) © The Courtauld

Colchester, Essex

Joseph Mallord William Turner

In 1824, Turner was commissioned to produce 120 designs for a series of topographical engravings,Picturesque Views in England and Wales. Such series were popular in Britain and they provided a steady source of income for the artist.

Colchester, Essexis one of his most striking compositions for the project, and shows the artist grappling with the challenges of producing watercolours that could be successfully translated into black-and-white engravings. He developed a technique of layering careful finishes of stippling over colour washes, especially visible at the lower right edge, with some areas of wash carefully scraped away to serve as highlights. This allowed him to capture both fine detail and elusive atmospheric effects, such as the reflection of a sunbeam on the river at left and the smoke rising from the chimneys of the houses at right.  

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Two men sit across from each other at a table covered with a brown tablecloth, playing cards. Both men wear overcoats and hats, and the man on the left smokes a pipe. They sit inside a wooden building. i Paul Cézanne (1839-1906) The Card Players, around 1892-96, The Courtauld, London (Samuel Courtauld Trust)

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