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Unusually, this sketch was painted on a page of a sketchbook, the 'Tabley' book used when Turner was staying with Sir John Leicester there in the summer of 1808; it was based on a pencil drawing in the same sketchbook. The sketch was cut from the book and bears signs of having been folded into four as if for despatch by post - perhaps to Sir John himself in connection with the two paintings of Tabley that Turner exhibited in 1809. Turner did not normally prepare samples of this kind, but the sketch was evidently made for a practical purpose rather than from nature.

August 2004