Joseph Mallord William Turner

A Vessel Sailing; and Diagram of Arrangement of Pipes


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 113 × 189 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXI 1

Catalogue entry

The main sketch on this page depicts a vessel at sail with the outline of a shore or coastline beyond. This is one of numerous sketches of boats throughout the sketchbook which includes studies of a two-masted vessel with an eagle figurehead at Greenwich (Tate D18543; Turner Bequest CCXI 12), and a view of two boats that must have been made in France because of the inclusion of a female figure wearing a ‘Bretton cap’ (Tate D18537; Turner Bequest CCXI 15). Another sketch has been identified as a view of Dover (Tate D18526; Turner Bequest CCXI 1a). Further sketches may have been made at either of these locations, on Turner’s outward journey between Brighton and Dieppe, his return between Calais and Dover, or on the Seine: Tate D18531, D18452, D18537, D18539, D18542, D18563, D18565, D18567, D18580 and D18590 (Turner Bequest CCXI 4a, 5, 8a, 9a, 11, 26, 27, 28, 36 and 41a).
The inscribed date on this page (‘20 July 182’), in combination with the inscription: ‘Saturday 21’ on the inside front cover opposite this page (Tate D40976), has helped to date Turner’s use of this sketchbook to 1821, as it was in that year that the 21st fell in on the Saturday in July.1 The inside front cover also contains a list of costs for works carried out on Turner’s house and studio at 47 Queen Anne Street West, including the installation of a ‘water closet’. Could the diagram of pipework at the top right of the present page relate to this?

Thomas Ardill
February 2013

Ian Warrell, Turner on the Seine, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London 1999, p.253, note 41.

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