Joseph Mallord William Turner

Ground Plan and Elevations of an Unexecuted Design for Sandycombe Lodge


View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Pen and ink on paper
Support: 315 x 402 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXX R

Catalogue entry

At the top left of the sheet are notional north and west elevations and a plan of Sandycombe Lodge, Turner’s self-designed Twickenham house, of the deep, narrow ‘Type A’ type categorised by Patrick Youngblood (as discussed in the introduction to the Sandycombe section). Eric Shanes has dated working drawings of this type to about 1809–11.1 The sweeping lines below may represent a road or path around or across the site.
At the top centre, either side of the sheet’s central fold, are the following calculations:
270                    250 
390                    390 
 40 . Pond              40P 
 10 Privy drains        10 Drains 
 10 [?Cut]              20 P 
100 planting            10 
 50 Pailing             15 
 20 Garden             735 
                              40£. a year 
Shanes suggests that the left and right columns respectively represent estimated and actual costs associated with the house,2 which was probably built in 1812. Patrick Youngblood proposes that the paired ‘390’ figures represent Turner’s original payment for the site in 1807, or a potential discount price rather than the £400 perhaps indicated in notes elsewhere3 (see the introduction to the Sandycombe section); he suggests that the costs set out for gardening indicate ‘fairly major alterations to the site’.4
Eric Shanes, draft text on Turner and Sandycombe in email to the author, 1 October 2011.
Youngblood 1982, p.22.
Ibid., p.23.
Technical notes:
Peter Bower has noted the large watermarked Britannia symbol (inverted at the centre of the left-hand half) and the countermark of Clarence Mill (inverted at the centre of the right-hand half), although the maker is ‘as yet unidentified’.1 The sheet has been folded in half vertically. There are various fortuitous marks and stains, particularly around the edges. Turner evidently worked initially across the two halves as one set of calculations is to the left of the fold and the other to the right. The sheet appear to have been folded inwards at one time, perhaps to protect the drawing, and also back the other way, bringing the two halves of the verso together. Along the top of the verso is a series of small discrete stains, symmetrical and apparently offset from one half to the other, some showing signs of abrasion as if the two halves once adhered to each other.
Bower 1990, p.92 note 2.

Matthew Imms
January 2012

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