Joseph Mallord William Turner

Three Sketches of Windsor Castle from the North-West; Fragments of Verse (Inscriptions by Turner)


View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Graphite on paper
Support: 95 x 155 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXL 12

Catalogue entry

Two of the sketches of Windsor are very slight continuations of those on folio 11 verso of the sketchbook (D10431). The third is larger, but still perfunctory, and sketched in landscape format. For Windsor Castle in this sketchbook and a connection with Turner’s watercolour (British Museum, London)1 engraved by William Miller in 1831 for Picturesque Views in England and Wales, see note to folio 9 verso (D10427).
Not transcribed by Finberg, Turner’s inscriptions read:
Perfid[ious] Rome
With worse than P[unic] f.[aith] perfidious Rome
Bring the olive with the vengeful asp
Twined around as the means of peace
Her C[hildren] and her arms
Her pride and softly and as fair
He showed ... to her
Conquerer grasps each hapless

See notes to folio 4 (D10416) for verse related to The Decline of the Carthaginian Empire (Tate N00499)2 exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1817, and the historical background to the subject.

David Blayney Brown
July 2011

Andrew Wilton, The Life and Work of J.M.W. Turner, Fribourg 1979, p.397 no.829.
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed. 1984, pp.100–1 no.135 (pl.137).

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