Joseph Mallord William Turner

A Man’s Head in Profile; Inscription by Turner: Instructions on How to Etch

c.1792

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In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Chalk on paper
Dimensions
Support: 419 × 269 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D40213

Catalogue entry

Turner’s notes here are instructions on how to etch:
         ( 1 Get an Etching Goround [sic] 26 
         ( 2 Heet the Back of the P[late]  
         ( 3 Rubb it over with the Ball 
Well Hot ( 4 Dab it over with the Dabber of Soft Musl[in]  
         ( 5 Smoke it over with Wax Tapur 
         ( 6 [?Put] some [?water] at back of the Palte [sic]  
         ( 7 [?Rep.] of Wax 
         Tupetine [sic] Varnish or Lamb [sic] black 
They should be compared with the list of etching equipment on the inside back cover of the Studies near Brighton sketchbook (Tate D40761; Turner Bequest XXX). It is possible that these instructions were copied down, perhaps from the conversation of a colleague, while Turner was planning the ‘Views on the River Avon’ that he seems to have envisaged as a publication resulting from his tour to Bristol in 1791; see the Bristol and Malmesbury sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest VI), especially inside back cover (D40736). An example of what may be an early exercise by Turner in the medium is Tate D41457 (Turner Bequest XXXII Fv); and see also Tate D41464 (Turner Bequest XXXII Cv).
The recto of this sheet is D00057 (Turner Bequest V D).

Andrew Wilton
April 2012

Read full Catalogue entry

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