Turner Bequest CCLXXX 56
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘(56’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CCLXXX 56’ bottom right
Wide o’er the fields, a waste of ruin laid, –
Oh! Heaven! he cried, my bleeding country save! –
Is there no hand on high to shield the brave?
Yet, though destruction sweep those lovely plains,
Rise, fellow-men! our country yet remains!
By that dread name, we wave the sword on high!
And swear for her to live! – with her to die!
He said, and on the rampart-heights array’d
His trusty warriors, few, but undismay’d;
Firm-paced and slow, a horrid front they form,
Still as the breeze, but dreadful as the storm;
Low murmuring sounds along their banners fly,
Revenge, or death, – the watch-word and reply;
Then peal’d the notes, omnipotent to charm,
And the loud tocsin toll’d their last alarm!
(Poetical Works of Thomas Campbell, 1837, p.13)
Peter Bower has noted that this study is made on off-white low-grade machine-made cartridge paper. The maker is unknown and there is no watermark. This paper would have been relatively cheap to buy and could have been purchased from a colourman, cut off from a roll to the desired size. Turner has used the ‘felt’ side of the paper which has slightly more texture than the ‘wire’ side, allowing better adhesion of pigment and graphite to the surface of the sheet. Many of Turner’s vignette studies were made on a similar grade of machine-made paper, and the artist employed the ‘felt’ side on all of them.1
How to cite
Meredith Gamer, ‘Vignette Study for ‘Kosciusko’, for Campbell’s ‘Poetical Works’ c.1835–6 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, August 2006, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, December 2012, https://www