J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours

Joseph Mallord William Turner A Harvest Home ?1807

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 36 Verso:
A Harvest Home ?1807
D05546
Turner Bequest XC 36a
Black and white chalk on off-white wove paper, prepared with a grey wash, 150 x 258 mm
 
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Drawn with the sketchbook inverted. This is one of two studies of a harvest home in the book, the other being folio 37a (D05548). Hill was the first to observe their relationship to the oil of a harvest meal in a barn likely to have been intended for the Earl of Essex, but left unfinished (Tate N00562).1 The painting probably mainly depicts an event on the Earl’s Hertfordshire estate, Cassiobury Park, near Watford, which Turner visited in 1807; see especially the Harvest Home sketchbook (Tate D05351–D05375; D40273; D40342–D40343; Turner Bequest LXXXVI) and a composition study (Tate D08216; Turner Bequest CXX C).2 The latter seems to be based on the present sketch, following it in showing the supper laid outside a barn whereas in the picture Turner moved it inside, as seen on folio 37a.
As well as being exceptions to its Thames-based or classical subject-matter, both sketches in this book are technically different from most of its contents, being roughly sketched in chalk rather than in ink outline, wash or watercolours. It seems more likely that they were later additions to the book, developed from or contemporary with his work at Cassiobury, than that they suggest an earlier and different location for the subject.

David Blayney Brown
August 2007

1
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984, p.128 no.209 (pl.208).
2
See also Sketchbook and Drawings Connected with Cassiobury Park and Harvest Pictures for the Earl of Essex circa 1807–12.

How to cite

David Blayney Brown, ‘A Harvest Home ?1807 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, August 2007, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, December 2012, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-a-harvest-home-r1129859, accessed 22 December 2014.