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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Inscription by Turner: Lines from Robert Blair's 'The Grave' 1792

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Inscription by Turner: Lines from Robert Blair’s ‘The Grave’ 1792
Inscribed by Turner in pencil with poetry (see main catalogue entry) from top on white laid card, 123 x 79 mm
Stamped in brown ink with Turner Bequest monogram towards bottom centre
Inscribed in pencil ‘Recto D00194 / verso D40232’ bottom centre
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Inscribed by Turner in pencil:
[?Poor] Wretch he minds not
That soon some trusty Brother of
the trade
Shall do for him w[hat] he has
done for Thousands
Slow moving o’er the prostrate dead
Prone on the grave of the dead
man She drops
The lines are taken from Robert Blair’s poem The Grave, and describe the drunken grave-digger and ‘new-made widow’, characters illustrated in the sketches on the recto. Blair’s line ‘Prone on the lowly grave of the dear [sic] man | She drops’ is slightly mistranscribed by Turner.
The lines relate to studies on the recto (D00194; Turner Bequest XVII S).

Andrew Wilton
April 2012

How to cite

Andrew Wilton, ‘Inscription by Turner: Lines from Robert Blair’s ‘The Grave’ 1792 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, April 2012, 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-inscription-by-turner-lines-from-robert-blairs-the-grave-r1140323, accessed 25 March 2018.