Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
A Pressed Leaf
Pressed leaf laid on tissue and set into paper mount tipped into sketchbook, 100 x 45 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
A.J. Finberg, A Complete Inventory of the Drawings of the Turner Bequest, London 1909, vol.I, p.233, 235, as ‘Dried leaf of herb, referred to by Mr. Ruskin, ... inserted here’.
David Hill, Turner on the Thames: River Journeys in the Year 1805, New Haven and London 1993, pp.30–1, 161, pl.42.
Anthony Bailey, Standing in the Sun: A Life of J.M.W. Turner, London 1997, p.93.
Finberg transcribed and commented on John Ruskin’s endorsement of the sketchbook:
... One leaf cut out, where a real leaf of herb is laid. The study cut out was of vegetation at Warwick. The leaf probably to illustrate it.
(Note.–The leaf still remains in its place. The study cut out has been found and restored to its proper place. It is a study at Windsor, not Warwick.)1
Finberg noted folio 35 recto (D05543) as ‘the “study of vegetation”’ referred to,2 although the subject is now identified as Syon House. David Hill describes this actual leaf, subsequently mounted and tipped in before it, in the context of Turner’s ‘retreat into nature and his contact with the physical stuff of which it was made’.3
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