Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Roots and Trunks of a Group of Trees; Inscription by Turner: Song Lyrics

1798–9

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 174 x 125 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D01815
Turner Bequest XLII 139

Catalogue entry

Inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation, the drawing is continued on folio 69 verso opposite (D01814; Turner Bequest XLII 138). It was possibly made in the grounds of Fonthill, where Turner was working on a commission from William Beckford in 1799; see the entry for folio 68 verso (D01812; Turner Bequest XLII 136).
Also inverted, lines of verse inscribed in pen and ink take up the bottom third of the page:
The voyage that had been long and hard
But that had yeilded [sic] full reward
That Brought each Sailor to his friend
Happy and rich was at an end
When Jack his toils and perils o’er
Beheld his Nancy on the shore
Then as his bacco he display’d
And cry and seized the charming maid
This is a continuation from the verso of this leaf (D01816; Turner Bequest XLII 140); for other pages of lyrics towards the end of this sketchbook, see the entry for the inside of the back cover (D41426).

Andrew Wilton
March 2013

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