Joseph Mallord William Turner

Inscription by Turner: A Summary of Annual ?Royal Academy Accounts


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

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 119 x 87 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXIX 4

Catalogue entry

Turner filled over half the page, turned vertically, with the following calculations, all in ink except for the isolated last line in pencil:
     1810   3915   9 
            4432.  10 
            4127.  8.  [?6] 
            4935   6 
            4648   17 
            5255   19 
            440    11 
            4961   12 
            5313   3 
        9 42,030   15 in 9 years. 
           46.70,. 1 .
             4. . 1 
The total of £42,030 and 15 shillings is correct; the subsequent division by nine is also accurate except for the last figure, as the whole should read £4,670, one shilling and eight pence. This appears to be an average figure over nine years, presumably 1810–18, and may relate to the Royal Academy’s income or exhibition sales over that time. In December 1818, Turner had been elected to the Academy’s Council, to oversee the running of the institution for the coming year;1 there are other notes concerning Academy business dated or datable to 1819 on folios 1 verso, 4 verso, 6 recto, 6 verso, 24 verso, 39 recto and 40 recto (D13752, D13758, D13761, D13762, D13787, D13810, D13812).

Matthew Imms
September 2013

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.254–5.

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