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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Diagram of Ship Positions at the Battle of Trafalgar 1805

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 31 Verso:
Diagram of Ship Positions at the Battle of Trafalgar 1805
Turner Bequest LXXXIX 24a
Pencil on white wove paper, 114 x 184 mm
Inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘B | Neptune | C | Round Stern’ top left, ‘R. yellow’ top centre, ‘4 tiers of Guns’ top right, and ‘V’, ‘Red’, ‘Temeraire’ and ‘Fo’ from left to right within outlines of ships
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Drawn with the sketchbook inverted. See folio 9 verso of the sketchbook (D05456) for another diagram of the battle. Here the ships drawn in outline and named in Turner’s annotations are the French Redoutable (see folio 10, D05457; Turner Bequest LXXXIX 11), the British Temeraire and the French Fougueux. Indicated by initials or otherwise are the French Bucentaure (see folio 9 verso), the British Neptune and possibly the British Conqueror. The only ship to carry four tiers of guns was the Spanish Santissima Trinidad (see chiefly folio 21 verso, D05458; Turner Bequest LXXXIX 12). As with other diagrams in the book, this is crudely drawn, perhaps initially by an eye-witness to the battle who Turner met aboard the Victory.

David Blayney Brown
March 2006

How to cite

David Blayney Brown, ‘Diagram of Ship Positions at the Battle of Trafalgar 1805 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, March 2006, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, December 2012, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-diagram-of-ship-positions-at-the-battle-of-trafalgar-r1139289, accessed 21 May 2018.