Joseph Mallord William Turner

Warships, including ‘Redoutable’ and ‘Fougueux’, and Flags

1805

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

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
D05490
Turner Bequest LXXXIX 31

Catalogue entry

As Ruskin’s note in the right margin instructed, this leaf was cut vertically, causing confusion in its subsequent numbering. It was reconstituted, though not in its right place in the overall sequence, when the book was restitched. Ruskin’s intention was to prioritise the verso (D41427), part of which has a continuation of a carefully drawn study of the Battle of Trafalgar on what is now folio 15 (D05481; LXXXIX 26); evidently he meant to save only the drawn portion, amalgamating it with its constituent partner, and discarding the rest. His comment that there was ‘nothing’ on the ‘rest’ of it ignored the present sketches on the recto side. According to Turner’s annotations, these must attempt to reconstruct the design or position of the two French ships Redoutable (for which see chiefly folio 10, D05457; Turner Bequest LXXXIX 11) and Fougueux, both lost after the battle, and the colours and patterns of flags or signals used during it.

David Blayney Brown
March 2006

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