Joseph Mallord William Turner

Architectural Details

1818

Not on display
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 112 x 90 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D13577
Turner Bequest CLXVI 66

Catalogue entry

With the sketchbook turned to the left, scattered across the page are sketches of architectural details: mainly doors and windows, but also signs and decorative features; and inscriptions describing the architecture (‘4 windows’) and transcribing shop signs.
[?]Mark and John Mackensay f[...] p[...] yellow 
Wm [?]Marshbank & [...] [...] Smith     High P [?]Crmw 
[?]Tea [?]hourly [?]works J Swinton G[...] [?]Warbrown 
 
                    Tea 
                    Spirits 
                    Wines 
                              [?]Town 
 
Door under the 
Window 
          Door under the Town 
               4 windows 
                    Th[...] O[...] 
                         Edinburgh 
 
               The 
               [...] 
               [...] 
               [...] 
Some of the fragments are clearly ecclesiastical, such as two details of an arched window in the centre of the page, and what may be stained-glass or ornate panelling below. At the bottom right of the page is a Doric column with the corner of a pediment above. Other elements are probably domestic, like the two windows at the top of the page, one of which seems to have items hanging from it as in a shop. The ‘door under the window’ at the bottom left, could equally be the side door to a church, or, for example, to a public house. There are several signs: a shield-shaped panel at the upper right – presumably belonging to an inn – next to which is inscribed, ‘Tea | Spirits | Wines’, and an ornate oval sign at the bottom of the page with indecipherable inscription. At the bottom of the page is a building with arches that are either arched windows, or a colonnade.
An inscription below these sketches on the opposite page (folio 66 verso; D13578), referring to Edinburgh’s ‘New Town’, could point to where these architectural features were seen, however, their character is probably more in keeping with the Old Town.

Thomas Ardill
January 2008

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