This is the verso of D12106 (Turner Bequest CLIV H), one of three similarly-sized sketches (with D12105, D12107; Turner Bequest CLIV G, I) made on ‘Bristol Paper’1 and recording subjects in the Washburn Valley near Farnley Hall, the Yorkshire home of Turner’s patron Walter Fawkes. Peter Bower suggests that the three are rough quarters of a single sheet, originally approximately 394 x 520 mm, and that the fourth is missing (see notes on verso, below). Bower also points out that such material was only rarely used for sketching by Turner, and he speculates that it was obtained from Farnley Hall.2 Presumably the three sketches were all made on the same visit, and given the proximity of subjects, probably on the same excursion.
The sheet is neatly trimmed on three sides, but the right edge is torn, suggesting that is has perhaps been detached from a sketchbook, or at least separated from another, similar sized sheet.
Pencil work at the left represents the continuation of a drawing to the right from an unknown sheet, presumably the missing fourth sheet postulated by Bower.
Bristol Paper is a laminate of two or more sheets of paper, with a highly glazed finish, named after the Earl of Bristol (see Peter Bower, Turner’s Papers: A Study of the Manufacture, Selection and Use of his Drawing Papers 1787–1820, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London 1990, pp.108–9.
Bower 1990, p.109.