Despite the austerity of this Yorkshire scene this work was one of Turner’s favourites and perhaps his most personal. The girl in blue is said to be his eldest daughter Evelina and the horse closely resembles his own ‘crop-eared bay’ horse. Despite being much admired by contemporary critics and the public Turner chose not to sell this work. After Turner’s death, artist Claude Monet declared that it had been painted with ‘wide open eyes’.
Joseph Mallord William Turner
113.7 x 174.6 cm
Date of work
Joseph Mallord William Turner was born in London; he remained a Londoner and kept a Cockney accent all his life despite dominating British landscape painting throughout the first half of the 19th century. He established a reputation in the Royal Academy, first as a topographical watercolourist and then within a few years as a painter of sublime and historical landscapes. From the mid-1790s he settled on the routine he maintained for much of his life: touring in summer and working in the studio in the winter months. He opened his own gallery and had many patrons and admirers as well as detractors. After his death a large body of his works in oil and watercolour was given to the British nation, with many on show at Tate Britain.