Joseph Mallord William Turner

Two Studies of the Bows and Beakhead of the’Temeraire’

1805

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

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
D05478
Turner Bequest LXXXIX 24

Catalogue entry

Drawn with the sketchbook inverted. These two studies of the beakhead of a warship, with a fiddle head, have been identified as of the Temeraire by Pieter van der Merwe.1 A smaller sketch of the same feature is on folio 30 verso (D05477; Turner Bequest LXXXIX 23a).
Turner must have sketched this from memory or from an eye-witness description, as the Temeraire did not join the Victory at Sheerness and Chatham after Trafalgar but went into Portsmouth Dockyard for repairs lasting more than a year.2

David Blayney Brown
January 2010

1
In conversation with the author, 19 January 2010.
2
Judy Egerton, Turner: The Fighting Temeraire, exhibition catalogue, National Gallery, London 1995, pp.33–4

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