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

Joseph Mallord William Turner Two Sailing Boats: A Gaff-Rigged Ketch to the Left and a Spritsail Cutter to the Right c.1805-6

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 11 Verso:
Two Sailing Boats: A Gaff-Rigged Ketch to the Left and a Spritsail Cutter to the Right circa 1805–6
D40634
Pen and ink on white wove paper, prepared with a grey wash, 171 x 262 mm
Inscribed by Turner in ink with measurements of sails and related numbers (see main catalogue entry)
 
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Perhaps drawn on a trip down the Thames; see Introduction to the sketchbook and note to the recto (D05838).
Turner’s various inscriptions are as follows: by the sails on the left, ‘13’ by the mast and ‘11’ at the boom; by those on the right, ‘13’ at the mast, ‘16’ at the boom, ‘12’ at the top and ‘18’ on the right. Further to right, these columns of figures, that on left referring to the right sail, that on right to the left sail:
12          13 
13          11 
18          12 
16          22 
3/61        3/57    [sic; actually 59, 58] 
20          19 yds 
As Hill observes, Turner must be trying to work out which sail has the greater area. Both columns of addition are wrong. See folio 15 verso (D05790) for a further study of a cutter.

David Blayney Brown
October 2007

How to cite

David Blayney Brown, ‘Two Sailing Boats: A Gaff-Rigged Ketch to the Left and a Spritsail Cutter to the Right c.1805–6 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, October 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-two-sailing-boats-a-gaff-rigged-ketch-to-the-left-and-a-r1130006, accessed 19 December 2014.