Joseph Mallord William Turner

The ‘Victory’: Port Side, Smaller Vessels Alongside

1805

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 114 x 184 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D05487
Turner Bequest LXXXIX 29

Catalogue entry

Faded from exposure in the First Loan Collection. Finberg’s entry, written when the leaf was out of the book on this national tour, noted; ‘Probably connected with the subject of “Nelson”, if not actually one of the leaves of this sketchbook’. Despite Finberg’s reservations, the leaf surely belongs to this sketchbook.
Finberg’s note must refer to Turner’s picture The Battle of Trafalgar, as Seen from the Mizen Starboard Shrouds of the Victory (Tate N00480),1 exhibited at Turner’s Gallery in 1806, for which see the Introduction to this sketchbook. The more likely connection, together with the starboard view of the Victory on folio 16 verso (D05486; Turner Bequest LXXXIX 28a), another port-side study on folio 18 (D05489; Turner Bequest LXXXIX 30) and the sky study on the verso (D05488), is with The Victory Returning from Trafalgar, also possibly shown in Turner’s Gallery in 1806 (Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, Connecticut).2 See Introduction to the sketchbook and entry for D05486 for the picture and associated work.
In this drawing, Turner concentrates on the bows, deck and stern and shows smaller vessels alongside.

David Blayney Brown
March 2006

1
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984, p.46 no.58 (pl.68).
2
Ibid., pp.46–7 no.59 (pl.69).

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