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

Remarks (Italy) sketchbook 1819–20

Turner Bequest CXCIII
Brown leather bound sketchbook with the cover tooled in black lines, marbled edges and one brass clasp. Front cover is stamped in black ‘CXCIII’ top right. Back cover is inscribed by the artist in black ink ‘27 | Remarks’, centre top (D40990 The inscription, now very faint and almost illegible, is recorded by Finberg.
106 leaves of white wove writing paper, approximate page size 115 x 94 mm (see Technical notes for paper type)
Inside front cover (D40988) is numbered ‘381’ as part of the Turner Schedule in 1854 and endorsed by the Executors of the Turner Bequest, inscribed in black ink ‘No.381 | 19 leaves of slight sketches | in pencil | H.S. Trimmer’ and initialled in pencil by John Prescott Knight, ‘JPK’ and Charles Lock Eastlake ‘C.L.E.’.
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner used this sketchbook during his first tour of Italy in 1819, one of twenty-three related to that trip. The book is so titled, ‘Remarks’ after the artist’s own label and comprises studies of works of art seen in various galleries and palaces in Rome. In addition there are a handful of topographical sketches relating to Rome and to the artist’s return journey through France in January 1820. The book ends with views of Calais and Dover, marking the sea crossing back to English soil.
Turner seems to have consciously reserved the use of this book for the study of works of art in Italy, making notes and sketches in a number of collections including the Palazzo Torlonia-Bolognetti, the Villa Borghese, the Palazzo Pallavicini-Rospigliosi, the Palazzo Barberini and the Palazzo Doria-Pamphili. His copies tend to be schematic and his comments somewhat cursory and notational, mostly concerned with colour and tonal balance. He also compiled a list of contemporary landscape artists in Rome, see folio 100 (D16876; Turner Bequest CXCIII 99). In addition, like certain pages in the Vatican Fragments sketchbook (see Tate D15231; Turner Bequest CLXXX 70a), many of the sheets have been prepared with a wash of grey, presumably for chiaroscuro and coloured drawings of paintings and sculpture, see folios 7–80 (D16772–D16847; Turner Bequest CXCIII 6–79). Cecilia Powell has argued that he may have intended it to form a Roman parallel to the Studies in the Louvre sketchbook from 1802 (Tate; Turner Bequest LXXII).1 However, for some reason, these grey pages were ultimately left unused. Powell has suggested that Turner may have been hampered by the copying restrictions placed upon visiting artists, or simply that he did not find many subjects impressive enough to absorb his attention.2
Finberg’s numbering of the sketchbook took no account of a partially removed page which has now been counted in the present folio arrangement. A concordance of Tate and Finberg numbers follows:
Present folio number or statusTate numberTurner Bequest (Finberg number)
1 RectoD16762CXCIII 1
VersoD16763CXCIII 1a
2 RectoD16764CXCIII 2
VersoD16765CXCIII 2a
3 Recto Blank (partially torn out)
Verso Blank (partially torn out)
4 RectoD16766CXCIII 3
VersoD16767CXCIII 3a
5 RectoD16768CXCIII 4
VersoD16769CXCIII 4a
6 RectoD16770CXCIII 5
VersoD16771CXCIII 5a
7 RectoD16772CXCIII 6
Verso Blank
8 RectoD16773CXCIII 7
Verso Blank
9 RectoD16774CXCIII 8
Verso Blank
10 Recto D16775CXCIII 9
Verso Blank
11 RectoD16776CXCIII 10
Verso Blank
12 RectoD16777CXCIII 11
Verso Blank
13 RectoD16778 CXCIII 12
Verso Blank
14 Recto D16779CXCIII 13
VersoD16780CXCIII 13a
15 RectoD16781CXCIII 14
Verso Blank
16 RectoD16782CXCIII 15
Verso Blank
17 RectoD16783CXCIII 16
Verso Blank
18 RectoD16784CXCIII 17
Verso Blank
19 RectoD16785CXCIII 18
Verso Blank
20 RectoD16786CXCIII 19
Verso Blank
21 RectoD16787CXCIII 20
Verso Blank
22 RectoD16788 CXCIII 21
Verso Blank
23 Recto D16789CXCIII 22
Verso Blank
24 RectoD16790CXCIII 23
Verso Blank
25 Recto D16791CXCIII 24
Verso Blank
26 RectoD16792CXCIII 25
Verso Blank
27 RectoD16793CXCIII 26
Verso Blank
28 RectoD16794CXCIII 27
Verso Blank
29 RectoD16795CXCIII 28
Verso Blank
30 RectoD16796CXCIII 29
Verso Blank
31 RectoD16797CXCIII 30
Verso Blank
32 RectoD16798CXCIII 31
Verso Blank
33 RectoD16799CXCIII 32
Verso Blank
34 RectoD16800CXCIII 33
Verso Blank
35 RectoD16801CXCIII 34
Verso Blank
36 RectoD16802CXCIII 35
Verso Blank
37 Recto D16803CXCIII 36
Verso Blank
38 RectoD16804CXCIII 37
Verso Blank
39 Recto D16805CXCIII 38
Verso Blank
40 RectoD16806CXCIII 39
Verso Blank
41 RectoD16807CXCIII 40
Verso Blank
42 RectoD16808CXCIII 41
Verso Blank
43 RectoD16809CXCIII 42
Verso Blank
44 RectoD16810CXCIII 43
Verso Blank
45 RectoD16811CXCIII 44
Verso Blank
46 RectoD16812CXCIII 45
Verso Blank
47 RectoD16813CXCIII 46
Verso Blank
48 RectoD16814CXCIII 47
Verso Blank
49 RectoD16815CXCIII 48
Verso Blank
50 RectoD16816CXCIII 49
Verso Blank
51 Recto D16817CXCIII 50
VersoD16818CXCIII 50a
52 RectoD16819CXCIII 51
Verso Blank
53 RectoD16820CXCIII 52
Verso Blank
54 RectoD16821CXCIII 53
Verso Blank
55 RectoD16822CXCIII 54
Verso Blank
56 RectoD16823CXCIII 55
Verso Blank
57 RectoD16824CXCIII 56
Verso Blank
58 RectoD16825CXCIII 57
Verso Blank
59 RectoD16826CXCIII 58
Verso Blank
60 RectoD16827CXCIII 59
Verso Blank
61 RectoD16828CXCIII 60
Verso Blank
62 RectoD16829CXCIII 61
Verso Blank
63 RectoD16830CXCIII 62
Verso Blank
64 RectoD16831CXCIII 63
Verso Blank
65 RectoD16832CXCIII 64
Verso Blank
66 RectoD16833CXCIII 65
Verso Blank
67 RectoD16834CXCIII 66
Verso Blank
68 RectoD16835CXCIII 67
Verso Blank
69 RectoD16836CXCIII 68
Verso Blank
70 RectoD16837CXCIII 69
Verso Blank
71 RectoD16838CXCIII 70
Verso Blank
72 RectoD16839CXCIII 71
Verso Blank
73 RectoD16840CXCIII 72
Verso Blank
74 RectoD16841CXCIII 73
Verso Blank
75 RectoD16842CXCIII 74
Verso Blank
76 RectoD16843CXCIII 75
Verso Blank
77 RectoD16844CXCIII 76
Verso Blank
78 RectoD16845CXCIII 77
Verso Blank
79 RectoD16846CXCIII 78
Verso Blank
80 RectoD16847CXCIII 79
Verso Blank
81 RectoD16848CXCIII 80
VersoD16849CXCIII 80a
82 RectoD16850CXCIII 81
Verso Blank
83 RectoD16851CXCIII 82
Verso Blank
84 RectoD16852CXCIII 83
Verso Blank
85 RectoD16853CXCIII 84
Verso Blank
86 RectoD16854CXCIII 85
Verso D16855CXCIII 85a
87 RectoD16856CXCIII 86
Verso Blank
88 RectoD16857CXCIII 87
Verso Blank
89 RectoD16858CXCIII 88
VersoD16859CXCIII 88a
90 RectoD16860CXCIII 89
Verso Blank
91 RectoD16861CXCIII 90
Verso Blank
92 RectoD16862CXCIII 91
Verso Blank
93 RectoD16863CXCIII 92
Verso Blank
94 RectoD16864CXCIII 93
VersoD16865CXCIII 93a
95 RectoD16866CXCIII 94
VersoD16867CXCIII 94a
96 RectoD16868CXCIII 95
VersoD16869CXCIII 95a
97 RectoD16870CXCIII 96
VersoD16871CXCIII 96a
98 RectoD16872CXCIII 97
VersoD16873CXCIIII 97a
99 RectoD16874CXCIII 98
VersoD16875CXCIII 98a
100 RectoD16876CXCIII 99
VersoD16877CXCIII 99a
101 RectoD16878CXCIII 100
VersoD16879CXCIII 100a
102 RectoD16880CXCIII 101
VersoD16881CXCIII 101a
103 RectoD16882CXCIII 102
VersoD16883CXCIII 102a
104 RectoD16884CXCIII 103
VersoD16885CXCIII 103a
105 RectoD16886CXCIII 104
VersoD16887CXCIII 104a
106 RectoD16888CXCIII 105
VersoD16889CXCIII 105a
Back CoverD40990
1
Powell 1987, p.65.
2
See ibid., p.66.

Nicola Moorby
March 2011

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How to cite

Nicola Moorby, ‘Remarks (Italy) sketchbook 1819–20’, sketchbook, March 2011, 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/remarks-italy-sketchbook-r1138535, accessed 31 July 2014.