Joseph Mallord William Turner

A Sailing Boat; a Geometric Grid and Doodles of Letters in Various Styles

c.1831–45

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 172 × 155 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D34584
Turner Bequest CCCXLIV 191

Catalogue entry

This sheet comprises an array of doodles in the forms of various generally capital letters in regular or cursive italic styles, including playful variations on ‘A’, ‘H’, ‘K’, ‘N’, ‘M’ and ‘Z’. The grid of squares and dots are comparable with those on Tate D34493 (Turner Bequest CCCXLIV 132), which includes the letter ‘N’ in two styles. Although not Margate subjects per se, both sheets are included here on technical grounds; see the notes below. See under Tate D34337 (Turner Bequest CCCXLIII 36a) for closely related works in this Margate subsection and elsewhere.
Technical notes:
Tate D34582–D34585 (Turner Bequest CCCXLIV 190, 190v, 191, 191v) are all on a single sheet, folded vertically (the horizontal dimensions given above being for the whole sheet with notches at the head and foot of the fold. D34582 is to the right of D34585 on one side, with D34583 and the present work respectively on their other sides. The partial watermark ‘mlett’ on other sheets in the sequence discussed under Tate D23337 likely indicates the Devon papermaker Edward Norish Tremlett, operating at various mills around Exeter between 1831 and 1856, in partnership with Dewdney between 1831 and 1833, and Charles Harris between 1833 and 1851.1

Matthew Imms
August 2016

1
See ‘Exeter Working Papers in British Book Trade History; 7: The Devon paper trades: a biographical dictionary: Exeter’, Exeter Working Papers in Book History, accessed 4 May 2016, http://bookhistory.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/devon-paper-trades-exeter.html.

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