Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 22 Verso:
A Rustic Interior circa 1805–7
Turner Bequest XCIII 22a
Turner Bequest XCIII 22a
Pen and ink on white wove paper, prepared with a grey wash, 171 x 262 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner and the Human Figure: Studies of Contemporary Life, Tate Gallery, April–July 1989 (72).
A.J. Finberg, A Complete Inventory of the Drawings of the Turner Bequest, London 1909, vol.I, p.243, XCIII 22a, as ‘Interior of a blacksmith’s shop’.
Gerald Wilkinson, The Sketches of Turner, R.A. 1802–20: Genius of the Romantic, London 1974, p.73.
Martin Butlin, Andrew Wilton and John Gage, Turner 1775–1851, exhibition catalogue, Royal Academy of Arts, London 1974, pp.64, 67.
Evelyn Joll and Martin Butlin, L’opera completa di Turner 1793–1829, Milan 1982, p.87.
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984, p.53.
Ann Chumbley and Ian Warrell, Turner and the Human Figure: Studies of Contemporary Life, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery 1989, pp.58–9 reproduced.
David Hill, Turner on the Thames: River Journeys in the Year 1805, New Haven and London 1993, pp.140, 141 reproduced pl.197, 163–4.
Martin Butlin, ‘Country Blacksmith...’, in Evelyn Joll, Martin Butlin and Luke Herrmann eds., The Oxford Companion to J.M.W. Turner, Oxford 2001, p.65.
Following Finberg’s description and since the 1974 Royal Academy catalogue this has been identified as a study for Country Blacksmith Disputing upon the Price of Iron, and the Price Charged to the Butcher for Shoeing his Poney exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1807 (Tate N00478).1 Chumbley and Warrell state that the drawing ‘relates directly’ to the picture. Certainly there are similarities in the general composition, the background building with its central beam and the position of the man on the left, who perhaps becomes the blacksmith in the picture. But Wilkinson finds this a ‘not very revealing interior’ and, as Hill observes, there are many differences from the picture, notably in the entire right portion of the design. Instead of a horse or pony there seems to be a pig or large dog feeding in the left foreground. In the present writer’s opinion it is not certain that this is a blacksmith’s shop at all. At least one figure on the right seems to be female and it could as easily be a cottage interior or perhaps a farm kitchen.
Butlin and Joll 1984, pp.52–3 no.68 (pl.78).
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