Joseph Mallord William Turner

A Flag and Diagram of Ship Positions

1805

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 114 x 184 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D05480
Turner Bequest LXXXIX 25

Catalogue entry

These sketches are very slight. The flag is unidentified but might be a French standard. Rather more detailed or annotated diagrams of the Battle of Trafalgar are on folios 9 verso and 31 verso of the sketchbook (D05456, D05479; Turner Bequest 24a). As with other diagrams in the book, this is crudely drawn, perhaps initially by an eye-witness to the battle who Turner met aboard the Victory.
Verso:
Blank, but inscribed by Turner in black chalk ‘15 Sunday’
15 December 1805 was a Sunday, and possibly this was the day Victory was expected by Turner to arrive in the Medway, having sailed from Portsmouth on the 11th, although in fact she was delayed by adverse winds until the 23rd; see Introduction to the sketchbook.

David Blayney Brown
March 2006

Read full Catalogue entry

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