Joseph Mallord William Turner

Inscription by Turner: Lines from Robert Blair’s ‘The Grave’

1792

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 123 x 79 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D40232

Catalogue entry

Inscribed by Turner in pencil:
[?Poor] Wretch he minds not
That soon some trusty Brother of
the trade
Shall do for him w[hat] he has
done for Thousands
Slow moving o’er the prostrate dead
Prone on the grave of the dead
man She drops
The lines are taken from Robert Blair’s poem The Grave, and describe the drunken grave-digger and ‘new-made widow’, characters illustrated in the sketches on the recto. Blair’s line ‘Prone on the lowly grave of the dear [sic] man | She drops’ is slightly mistranscribed by Turner.
The lines relate to studies on the recto (D00194; Turner Bequest XVII S).

Andrew Wilton
April 2012

Read full Catalogue entry

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