Catalogue entry

89. [N00486] Ploughing up Turnips, near Slough Exh. 1809

THE TATE GALLERY, LONDON (486)
Canvas, 40 1/8 × 51 1/4 (102 × 130)
Coll. Turner Bequest 1856 (71, ‘Windsor’ 4'3 1/2" × 3'4 1/2"'); transferred to the Tate Gallery 1919.

Exh. Turner's gallery 1809 (9); Tate Gallery 1931 (44); Paris 1972 (260, repr.); Lisbon 1973 (4, repr. in colour); R.A. 1974–5 (156); Leningrad and Moscow 1975–6 (15); Mexico City (1, repr., p. 17) and Caracas (1) 1979; Athens 1980 (72, repr. in colour); Paris 1983–4 (21, repr.).

Lit. Thornbury 1862, i, p. 294; Armstrong 1902, p. 237; Finberg 1910, pp. 63–8; Davies 1946, p. 187; Finberg 1961, pp. 156, 171, 471 no. 136, pl. 13; Rothenstein and Butlin 1964, p. 26, pl. 41; Gage 1969, p. 89; Reynolds 1969, p. 106, pl. 49; Wilton 1979, pp. 121, 124, 157, colour pl. 115.

Formerly known as ‘Windsor’: the Castle is prominent in the background. The present title is that used in the catalogue of the 1809 exhibition in Turner's gallery. There are several related drawings in the sketchbook labelled by Turner ‘46, Windsor, Eaton’, XCVII; this is dated c. 1807 by Finberg (1909, i, p. 251) and 1806 by Gage (exhibition catalogue, Paris 1972); see also No. 57 [N00477]. Page 2 shows the same general view, while there are also related sketches of cows, particularly on pp. 22, 87 and 89, and similar but not identical human figures particularly on pp. 27, 81 verso and 82 verso. The unusual size of the picture is shared by No. 107 [N00485].

This picture was priced at £200 in a note, probably of c. 1810, in Turner's ‘Finance’ sketchbook (CXXII-36; for the date see Nos. 53 [T03869] and 56 [N00474]). As Evelyn Joll points out (exh. cat., Paris 1983–4) this was Turner's usual price for his standard 36 × 48 in. picture.


Published in:
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984