Joseph Mallord William Turner

Study of an Aspen

1799

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

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 130 x 79 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D02062
Turner Bequest XLVI 46

Catalogue entry

The tree’s root is studied separately at the bottom right. This and the drawings on the verso and folios 47 recto and 48 recto (D02063–D02064, D02066), bear some resemblance to studies of trees in the Swans sketchbook (Tate D01691–D01694; Turner Bequest XLII 16–17, 18–19), which was in use about the same time; those drawings are usually considered to have been made on the estate at Fonthill in Wiltshire in 1799.
There is no evidence to suggest that the present book was in use at Fonthill, but the copies after Nicolas Poussin (1594–1665) on folios 114 verso and 118 recto (D02165, D02172), show that he had it in his pocket in London, where those pictures were exhibited, and not just on his 1799 tour of Lancashire and North Wales.

Andrew Wilton
May 2013

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