Joseph Mallord William Turner

Inscription by Turner: A List of Subjects Planned or Completed for Walter Fawkes of Farnley Hall

1818

Not on display
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Dimensions
Support: 111 x 185 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D12011
Turner Bequest CLIII 10 a

Catalogue entry

The list (transcribed below) continues on D12113; Turner Bequest CLIII 11a, following. It seems likely that it represents subjects that Turner had in hand or intended to paint ahead of Walter Fawkes’s exhibition of his collection of watercolours at his London house in the spring of 1819.1 Some of the subjects are readily identifiable, but many remain uncertain, and some completely mysterious. All of the identifiable numbered subjects are gouaches, executed on toned paper in a relatively loose manner and usually described today as sketches; some appear to be subjects derived from sketches in the present sketchbook. Some of the identifiable non-numbered items appear to be somewhat earlier than the date of the sketchbook, however, and given that at least two previously unrecorded watercolours have appeared in recent years to supply previously mysterious subjects in this list (number 22 and ‘Caltarf’) it might well be that the list records a number of works yet to be discovered.
Turner’s list is annotated with the identifications with known works:
1          Old Drawing                       Farnley Hall in the Olden Time (private collection)2
2          Lake                                     ?Lake Tiny (private Collection)3
3          Lake with Lindley              View across Lake Tiny towards Lindley Hall (Birmingham
                                                           City Art Galleries)4
4          Lake from Lindley             ?Lake Tiny with Almscliff Crag (Hereford Art Gallery)5
5          Washburn                           ?Valley of the Washburn (Leeds City Art Galleries)6
6          Pheasant Nest                     The Pheasant’s Nest (South African National Gallery,                                                          Cape Town)7
7          Ditto – Door                       The Pheasant’s Nest (private collection)8
8          New House                          Farnley Hall from the East (private collection)9
9          Old Part                              Garden Front, with Sundial, Farnley Hall (private collection)10
10         Oak Room                           Oak-panelled room, Farnley Hall (private collection)11
11          Gate Way                           ?Porch to the Flower Garden, Farnley Hall (private collection)12
12         Menston Gate Way              Gateway to the Flower Garden at Farnley (private collection)13
13         Fir Walk                              Unidentified14
14         Wincover Porch[?]             Unidentified15
15         ditto Walk                              Unidentified
16         Lindley Hall                            Lindley Hall (private collection)16
17         New Hall                                Newall Old Hall (private collection)17

David Hill
June 2009

1
See Alexander J. Finberg, The Life of J.M.W. Turner, R.A. Second Edition, Revised, with a Supplement, by Hilda F. Finberg, revised ed., Oxford 1961, pp.258–9.
2
Andrew Wilton, The Life and Work of J.M.W. Turner, Fribourg 1979, p.373 no.629.
3
Ibid., p.370 no.606, but the present list has two ‘Lake’ subjects (see no.25), and Wilton.606 appears to be the only candidate for identification with either (but see also nos.3 and 4 in the list).
4
Ibid., p.372 no.621 as ‘View across the Wharfe towards Lindley Hall’.
5
Ibid., p.370 no.607, although this is not taken from Lindley Hall. There is a sketch of Lake Tiny from Lindley Hall in the Aqueduct sketchbook (Tate D11983; Turner Bequest CLII 9), and the reference here might indicate the subject of a missing composition.
6
Ibid., p.372 no.626, but there are other candidates, especially ibid., p.372 no 620.
7
Ibid., p.370 no.603.
8
Ibid., p.370 no.604.
9
Ibid., p.368 no.587.
10
Ibid., p.368 no.586.
11
Ibid., p.369 no.593.
12
Ibid., p.367 no.584 where called ‘Front door and porch, Farnley’, but this is uncertain – the subject in that watercolour is not a gateway, and never was; the structure formerly served as a porch at Newall Old Hall at Otley. It is possible that this watercolour might be identified with no.14 in the list ‘Wincover Porch’ but it is not certain that this is an accurate reading, nor even if it is, is it at all clear what it might mean.
13
Wilton 1979, pp.367–8 no.585. This gateway was removed to Farnley from nearby Menston Hall. Finberg 1909 read the inscription as ‘Merton’
14
Possibly The Woodwalk, Farnley Hall (Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge); Wilton 1979, pp.369–10 no.602.
15
Unless ibid., p.367 no.584, but the reading of the inscription here is very uncertain, and see notes to list number 11, above
16
Ibid., p.372 no.622.
17
Ibid., p.373 no.630.

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