Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Statue of George I on the Steeple of St George’s Church, Bloomsbury, London; ?a Ground Plan or Map

c.1808–11

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Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 117 x 87 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D08063
Turner Bequest CXIV 76 a

Catalogue entry

Maurice Davies relates this sketch, showing George I’s statue surmounting the steeple of St George’s, Bloomsbury, and the studies on folios 64 recto and 67 recto (D08043, D08047) to Turner’s first perspective lecture, delivered at the Royal Academy in January 1811 (see the Introduction to the sketchbook); Turner discussed the statue on top of the steeple, and the effect of viewing it at an angle from the ground,1 in relation to two large watercolour diagrams. ‘6’ shows a scale elevation of the whole church (Tate D17115; Turner Bequest CXCV 144), while ‘7’ (Tate D17116; Turner Bequest CXCV 145) shows an apparently naturalistic view looking up the tower from close to its foot, based on the drawing on folio 66 recto continued on folio 63 verso (D08046, D08042; not mentioned by Davies). For further details of the church see under D08043.
The page was also used for a separate ground plan or map with what appears to be a building or plot of ‘12’ by ‘12’ feet or yards within a larger irregular boundary; it does not appear to relate directly to St George’s, nor to Sandycombe Lodge, Turner’s house in Twickenham, for which there are studies elsewhere in this sketchbook (see the Introduction). There are also numbers, possibly calculations, in the space below the statue sketch, made with the book turned horizontally – only ‘19’ and ‘[?26]’ or ‘[?2]’ and ‘6’ can be made out with certainty.

Matthew Imms
January 2012

1
See Davies 1992, pp.32, 106 note 9; and Davies 1994, p.290.

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