Joseph Mallord William Turner

Inscription by Turner: A List of Royal Academy Exhibits, with a Related Diagram

c.1819

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

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 119 x 87 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D13761
Turner Bequest CLXIX 6

Catalogue entry

With the page turned vertically, Turner made the following notes at the top:
Above the Line
Beechey. Princess Augusta 1
2 Phillips. 3 Shee
4 Owen. 5 Beechey
These references are to pictures shown at the annual Royal Academy exhibition; as Finberg notes, a portrait of Princess Augusta was exhibited by Sir William Beechey (1753–1839) in 1819.1 Pictures were customarily hung first and then numbered more or less sequentially for the catalogue, which includes entries for likely adjacent works by Beechey and the other artists Turner names, as follows:
Beechey: ‘77 Portrait of H.R.H. the Duke of Gloucester’; ‘87 Portrait of H.R.H. the Duchess of Cambridge’; ‘97 Portrait of H.R.H. the Princess Augusta’
Thomas Phillips (1770–1845): ‘76 Portrait of Archdeacon Corbett’; ‘83 Portrait of His Grace the Archbishop of York’
Sir Martin Archer Shee (1769–1850): ‘84 Portrait of Lady Jane Coventry’
William Owen (1769–1825): ‘92 Portrait of the Lord Chief Justice Abbott’; ‘93 Portrait of a Lady’2
Turner began to draw a corresponding plan of the hang with a large upright rectangle labelled ‘1’, but then started again on a smaller scale further down, showing the outlines of a grouping of closely-hung pictures with numbers corresponding to those in his list.
Beechey’s portrait of the Duke of Gloucester showed him seated in uniform, and was engraved in the same year,3 while the Duchess of Cambridge was shown full-length beside a pedestal; the latter picture was in the collection of the 2nd Duke of Cambridge in the 1890s.4 The three-quarter portrait of Princess Augusta from the Duke’s collection,5 now in the Baltimore Museum of Art, is assumed to be the version exhibited on this occasion.6 Phillips’s portrait of Edward Venables-Vernon Harcourt, Archbishop of York, is at All Souls College, Oxford,7 and Owen’s of Lord Chief Justice Charles Abbott, 1st Baron Tenterden, had been commissioned for Corpus Christi College, Oxford, in 1818.8
There are related notes on folio 4 verso (D13758) and the verso of the present leaf (D13762); for other Royal Academy notes in this sketchbook, see under folio 4 recto (D13757).

Matthew Imms
September 2013

1
Finberg 1909, I, p.490, footnote ‡.
2
The Exhibition of the Royal Academy, M.DCCCXIX. The Fifty-First, exhibition catalogue, Royal Academy, London, 1819, p.9.
3
See W. Roberts, Sir William Beechey, R.A., London and New York 1907, p.148.
4
Ibid., pp.148–9.
5
Ibid., p.150.
6
See Oliver Millar, The Later Georgian Pictures in the Collection of Her Majesty the Queen, London 1969, p.10 under no.681.
7
See Mrs Reginald Lane Poole, Catalogue of Portraits in the Possession of the University, Colleges, City, and County of Oxford, vol.II, Oxford 1925, p.199 no.63, Pl.XXVI; and John Ingamells, The English Episcopal Portrait 1559–1835: A Catalogue, London 1981, p.213 no.D.
8
Poole II 1925, pp.272–3 no.30; see also Richard Walker, National Portrait Gallery: Regency Portraits, London 1985, vol.I, p.497.

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