The Bridge in the Middle Distance

Joseph Mallord William Turner, Published on 10 June 1808

WAG 4485

About this object

This print, 'The Bridge in the Middle Distance', is plate 13 of Turner's 'Liber Studiorum' series. It is an example of the 'Elevated (or Epic) Pastoral' category of landscape painting. It was published with the 3rd part of the series on 10 June 1808.

The 'Liber Studiorum' illustrated Turner’s arguments for the supremacy of landscape painting. The title means ‘book of studies’ in Latin. It contained no written text, instead it was made up of individual mezzotint prints on paper. They were released in fourteen parts from around 1807 until 1819. Turner intended the 'Liber' to consist of 100 prints but only 71 were ultimately produced.

The prints reflected the five categories of landscape painting Turner believed existed: architectural, historical, marine, mountainous and pastoral. Turner wrote an initial on each work to indicate which category it belonged to.

Object specifics

  • Other title(s)
    The Sun between Trees
  • Artist(s)
    Charles Turner (British, born:31 July 1774, died:01 August 1857)
    Joseph Mallord William Turner (British: English, born:probably 23 April 1775, died:19 December 1851)
  • Date
    Published on 10 June 1808
  • Materials
    Mezzotint; Paper
  • Measurements
    image: 18.1 cm x 26.3 cm
  • Physical description
    A classical landscape with a river and bridge in the middle distance. The sun is setting, casting a shadow beneath the trees in the foreground. A group of three figures, one playing the pipe, are seated at the side of a road which winds toward the left. A mist settles on the land in the distance.
  • Related people
    Charles Turner (Artist/maker, engraver); Joseph Mallord William Turner (Artist/maker)
  • Other number(s)
    WAG Inventory Number: 4485
  • Credit line
    Purchased by the Walker Art Gallery in 1874
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Collection
    From the Walker Art Gallery collections


Item inscriptions

  • Inscription text: E.P.
    Inscription method: Printed
    Inscription note:
    Inscription location: Above plate
  • Inscription text: June 10, 1808
    Inscription method:
    Inscription note:
    Inscription location:
  • Inscription text: Proof
    Inscription method:
    Inscription note:
    Inscription location: Lower left
Object view = Fine Art
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