Joseph Mallord William Turner

An Anchor; Floating Buoys

1827

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Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 112 x 192 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D41017

Catalogue entry

Pencil on white wove paper, 112 x 192 mm
Inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘[...R]’ towards centre right, on end of buoy
These separate studies show an anchor apparently lying on dry land or at least a flat surface, and two contrasting styles of buoy floating in water: one with a conical end and the other in the form of a barrel. The latter may be the same object as that shown in less detail on folio 21 recto (D20628; Turner Bequest CCXXVI 20). As discussed in the technical notes below, this leaf was formerly separated from the sketchbook, perhaps to display these careful studies, though no specific occasion is recorded.
This incidental nautical paraphernalia may have been observed at or around Cowes. For more on studies in this sketchbook relating to the regatta events at Cowes from late July 1827 onwards, see the Introduction.
Technical notes:
This leaf was not mentioned except in terms of its absence in Finberg’s 1909 Inventory, when he noted a ‘Leaf torn out’ at this point.1 He subsequently identified the page (re)inserted here as ‘[folio 52] c. Anchor and floating buoys’, among ‘3 leaves found after Invy. was printed’2 (see the concordance in the Introduction).

Matthew Imms
November 2015

1
A.J. Finberg, A Complete Inventory of the Drawings of the Turner Bequest, London 1909, vol.II, p.697.
2
Undated MS note by Finberg (died 1939) in interleaved copy of Finberg 1909, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, II, opposite pp.697, 695.

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