Joseph Mallord William Turner

Accounts and Figure Sketches


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Pen and ink and graphite on paper
Support: 59 × 96 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXV 43 a

Catalogue entry

The three roughly sketched figures on this page belong to a group of costumed figures that continues on the opposite sketchbook page: folio 44 (D25722). There are also various other studies of figures in fancy costumes scattered throughout the sketchbook: see folio 57 (D25745) for references. Below these sketches are inscriptions in pencil. One reads ‘Red’ and refers to a costume, the other looks like ‘Jonny Taylor’ but has not been explained.
With the sketchbook turned to the right are inscriptions by Turner in black ink. The column on the left consists of a list of numbers, bracketed together under the number ‘10’: ‘2946 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 50 | 3026 24 Jan. 31 | 7 | 8 | 9’. On the right the column reads: ‘£20 | 15530 | 31 | 19 Jan 31’.
Ian Warrell has suggested that these figures may be cheque numbers. Thus we have 2946–2950 and 3036–3039 bracketed together under the number ‘10’, and the numbers 15530 and 15531, dated 19 January 1831, with the figure of £20. It is not known whether these represent purchases or sales, expenditure or income.

Thomas Ardill
September 2009

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