Joseph Mallord William Turner?Gleaners c.1805-7

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Artwork details

Artist
Title
?Gleaners
From Hesperides (1) Sketchbook
Turner Bequest XCIII
Date c.1805-7
MediumPen and ink on paper
Dimensionssupport: 171 x 262 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D05807
Turner Bequest XCIII 25 a
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Catalogue entry

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 25 Verso:
?Gleaners circa 1805–7
D05807
Turner Bequest XCIII 25a
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
See Introduction to the sketchbook and notes to the recto (D05802) and folio 22 verso (D05801) for its various studies of (mainly rustic) figures, their character and meaning; and especially folios 23 verso and 24 verso (D05803, D05805) for the subject, seen by Hill as a development of the present sketch if Turner was working backwards through the sketchbook. While Finberg and Hill differ in their interpretations of 23 verso and 24 verso, both agree that this is a scene of distress, in Hill’s words one of ‘desperate rural poverty’. These views must derive from the presence of a baby and the crawling, pleading gestures of some of the figures. However, a possible connection with a harvest at Cassiobury Park is mentioned in the catalogue note to 23 verso, and these figures might be gleaning.

David Blayney Brown
October 2007

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