Joseph Mallord William Turner

Oak Chest at Farnley Hall


Not on display
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 113 x 189 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXI 6

Catalogue entry

In addition to the sketches made during his 1821 tour of Northern France, Turner used this sketchbook for various other studies, including a series of sketches of an oak chest belonging to Walter Fawkes (1769–1825) at Farnley Hall near Otley in North Yorkshire. The present page contains a careful diagram of the chest, the whole drawn in outline, but only the right-hand side including details of the ornamentation, the left side being identical. Inscriptions note that the chest is ‘4 feet wide’, has a ‘Lion Head’ motif beneath the clasps, and a ‘Lion H[ead] | ornament’ at each corner. It is ‘3’ feet high, has a ‘1 1/2’ inch moulding at the top, and a ‘2/2 [presumably 2½] in[ch]’ bottom section.
There are further sketches of the chest on folios 40–41 verso and the inside back cover of the sketchbook (Tate D18587–D18590, D40977; Turner Bequest CCXI 40–41a), and inscriptions related to Fawkes on folio 10 (Tate D18540; Turner Bequest CCXI 10). Opposite the present page in the sketchbook is a study of a sideboard containing Farnley relics (Tate D18534; Turner Bequest CCXI 7).
These drawings relate to Turner’s studies of Fairfax memorabilia made around 1815, leading to the suggestion that they may have been executed as that date.1 Ian Warrell has subsequently pointed out that the inscriptions on folio 10 (D18540) refer to watercolours for Fawkes, some of which were executed in 1821, making this a more likely date for these studies.2

Thomas Ardill
March 2013

Ann Chumbley and Ian Warrell, Turner and the Human Figure: Studies of Contemporary Life, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London 1989, p.29 under no.10.
Ian Warrell, Turner on the Seine, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London 1999, p.24.

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