Joseph Mallord William Turner

?Scientific Instruments, a Waggon, and Architectural Details, Perhaps at Farnley Hall


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

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 110 x 178 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXXXIII 83 a

Catalogue entry

The orientations of the individual sketches here are largely unclear. With the gutter at the top, there seems to be the profile of a railway waggon inverted at the top left, and some sort of mechanism or device at the top right. The objects towards the bottom left might be fittings at Farnley Hall, Yorkshire, as sketched from folio 74 verso (D09770) onwards, and the profile along the outer edge of the page may be of an architectural detail there. See the Introduction to the sketchbook for other Farnley and nearby Yorkshire views in this book.
Without identifying any of the items, John Gage suggests that ‘the chemical imagery’ of this and a handful of similar diagrams scattered through in Turner’s sketchbooks ‘takes us into the mythological world of traditional science’.1

Matthew Imms
July 2014

Gage 1969, p.136.

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