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

Joseph Mallord William Turner Two Ships, one Sinking, and a Lifeboat: Arithmetic (Inscription by Turner) c.1805

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 2 Recto:
Two Ships, one Sinking, and a Lifeboat: Arithmetic (Inscription by Turner) circa 1805
D05378
Turner Bequest LXXXVII 3
Pen and black ink on cream laid paper, 118 x 185 mm
Inscribed by Turner in black ink ‘39’ bottom left, running vertically, and in pencil with accounts (see main catalogue entry) top left, running vertically
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘3’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘LXXXVII 3’ bottom right
 
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
The accounts are as follows:
     48     16 
     16     54 
     –      – 
     64 
     16 
     54 
     70 
With similar on folios 3 and 30 verso of this sketchbook (D05380, D05425; Turner Bequest LXXXVII 5, 50) they must relate to subscriptions, probably received around 1806–7, to Charles Turner’s mezzotint after Turner’s picture The Shipwreck (Tate, N00476).1 See also the lists of subscribers on folios 1 verso, 2 verso and 5 verso (D05377, D05379, D05399; Turner Bequest LXXXVII 2, 4, 24), and Introduction to the sketchbook for the picture. Although Finberg implies otherwise, the sketch on this leaf has no direct connection with the picture’s composition.

David Blayney Brown
December 2005

1
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984 , p.43 no.54 (pl. 64).

How to cite

David Blayney Brown, ‘Two Ships, one Sinking, and a Lifeboat: Arithmetic (Inscription by Turner) c.1805 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, December 2005, 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-ships-one-sinking-and-a-lifeboat-arithmetic-inscription-r1139156, accessed 20 August 2014.