Joseph Mallord William Turner
Verses (Inscriptions by Turner) c.1807–8

Artwork details

Verses (Inscriptions by Turner)
From Boats, Ice Sketchbook
Turner Bequest CI
Date c.1807–8
Medium Graphite on paper
Dimensions Support: 180 x 107 mm
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CI 86
View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Catalogue entry

See Introduction and note to folio 85 verso of the sketchbook (D06709) for the background and subject of these verses, the demolition of Alexander Pope’s villa at Twickenham. Rosalind Mallord Turner’s reading published in the 1990 Tate catalogue is adopted here:
The weekly cash perform and wages paid
The weary labourer quits the farming glade
With sorry face [show all inserted] wind[s] o[e]r the stony shore
To poor
Till all his toils the blunted ax[e] had [wore deleted] [bore inserted]
Saw the razed timbers fall from famed Alex[is] roof
‘Alexis’ was the swain whose name was used as the subtitle of Alexander Pope’s early pastoral poem Summer (1709); there he appears as a lovesick youth leading ‘forth his flocks along the silvery Thame’. Here, however, Turner uses it for Pope himself.

David Blayney Brown
December 2006

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