Joseph Mallord William Turner Tabley House, from the Moat: Sir John Leicester’s Yacht, and Men Fishing 1808

Artwork details

Tabley House, from the Moat: Sir John Leicester’s Yacht, and Men Fishing
From Tabley No.1 Sketchbook
Turner Bequest CIII
Date 1808
Medium Graphite on paper
Dimensions Support: 226 x 295 mm
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CIII 16
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Catalogue entry

See Introduction to the sketchbook for Turner’s visit to Tabley in 1808 and commission to paint a pair of pictures of the house and grounds for Sir John Leicester. This view, continued slightly on folio 24 verso (D06845; Turner Bequest CIII 15a), shows the house from across the lake or Moat with yachts, rowing boats and men fishing. It was the basis of the oil sketch also from the sketchbook (D06848; Turner Bequest CIII 18), which was probably posted to Sir John for his approval. In both, Turner omitted the water tower which he perhaps thought unpicturesque and Sir John, who had built it, presumably ordered its inclusion in the otherwise-similar picture, Tabley, Cheshire, the Seat of Sir J.F. Leicester, Bart: Calm Morning (Tate T03878; displayed at Petworth House),1 exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1809.
Sir John’s fleet of yachts for ‘aquatic parties’ and Turner’s fondness for fishing on the lake at Tabley, allegedly to the exclusion of painting, are also discussed in the Introduction.
Butlin and Joll 1984, pp.70–1 no.99 (pl.107).

David Blayney Brown
May 2010

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