View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms
- Line engraving on paper
- Image: 87 x 129 mm
- Purchased 1988
T05111 Fonthill, from ‘The Anniversary’ engr. T. Crostick, pub.1828
Line-engraving 87 × 129 (3 7/16 × 5 1/16) on India paper laid on laid paper 298 × 433 (11 3/4 × 17 1/16); plate mark 153 × 226 (6 × 8 7/8)
Engraved inscriptions: ‘J.M.W. Turner, R.A. del.’ below image b.l., ‘T. Crostick, fculp.’ below image b.r., ‘Fonthill. | PUBLISHED OCT 1, 1828, BY JOHN SHARPE. LONDON.’ below image at centre
Purchased (Grant-in-Aid) 1988
Prov: ...; N.W. Lott and H.J. Gerrish Ltd, from whom bt by Tate Gallery
Lit: Rawlinson II 1913, no.338, first published state
Published in The Anniversary, 1829, p.214. Original watercolour: Montreal Museum, Quebec (Wilton 1979, no.337). The Anniversary: or Poetry and Prose for 1829, published by John Sharpe, was an annual largely made up of poetry along with short stories or plays that were intended to be of general interest and which provided information about people and places, for example, ‘Abbotsford described by a distinguished American’. More sentimental material was also included, such as the poem ‘Love me, love my dog’. Few of the articles were signed, but some of them may have been written by the editor of the volume, Allan Cunningham.
Only one volume of The Anniversary appears to have been published but this was of outstanding quality, particularly in its illustrations. Some of the most eminent artists of the time contributed designs, including Bonington, Beechey, Shee, Landseer, Lawrence and Danby as well as Turner. The engravers were of an equivalent stature and included Edward Goodall, Robert Wallis and Edward Finden. Nothing, however, is known of the engraver of this plate, T. Crostick; it appears to be the only known engraving that he executed.
Turner's plate, ‘Fonthill’, accompanied an anonymous poem of the same title that was written to complement the illustration, for it includes the lines, ‘See, Art has cast her spell to check | Man's greatness ere it goes to wreck | Here, Turner, with a wizard's power | Has fix'd in splendour tree and tower ...’.
Tate Gallery: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions 1986-88, London 1996