Joseph Mallord William TurnerLandscape 1809

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Artwork details

From Lowther Sketchbook
Turner Bequest CXIII
Date 1809
MediumGraphite on paper
Dimensionssupport: 83 x 114 mm
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXIII 15
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Catalogue entry

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 15 Recto:
Landscape 1809
Turner Bequest CXIII 15
Pencil on white wove paper, 83 x 114 mm
Inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘Haze’ in sky at left and ?‘dark’ in sky at right
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘15’ top left, inverted
Stamped in black ‘CXIII 15’ top left, inverted
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Drawn with the sketchbook inverted. Despite Finberg’s suggestion, this sketch appears to be unconnected with either of Turner’s pictures, Lowther Castle, Westmorland, the Seat of the Earl of Lonsdale: North-West View from Ullswater Lane: Evening and Lowther Castle, Westmorland, the Seat of the Earl of Lonsdale (the North Front), with the River Lowther: Mid-day exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1810 (private collection).1 Although this sketchbook contains sketches of architectural details of the castle on folios 25 and 26 (D07892, D07893), nothing else has emerged to challenge Butlin and Joll’s statement that there are ‘no known drawings directly connected with the finished pictures in the Turner Bequest’.2 If this is a view of the park at Lowther it excludes the castle that was the point of Turner’s visit, and the landscape could be elsewhere altogether. A sharp pencil line at left indicates something propped against a tree; if this is a gun there must be some relationship to drawings of gun-dogs and sportsmen towards the back of the book, and more specifically to the verses about a shooting accident of which a crucial passage appears opposite on 14 verso (D07875); see also Introduction and note to13 verso (D07873). If this writer is right in his hunch (shared by David Hill) that these subjects and verses spring from a visit to Farnley Hall, this landscape might be Wharfedale.

David Blayney Brown
July 2009

Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984, pp.78–9 nos.111,112 (pls.116, 117).
Ibid., p.79.

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