Joseph Mallord William Turner

Birmingham from the South-West; with ?a Sketch Map


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 120 × 203 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXXXVIII 20

Catalogue entry

The landscape sketch and what appears to be the beginnings of a map on this page are not mentioned in Finberg’s Turner Bequest Inventory. The few cursive lines in the middle of the page may be an abandoned version of the map of a manor house by a river on folio 19 verso opposite (D22009).
The drawing of Birmingham at the inside of the page, made with the book turned horizontally, continues across from D22009. The narrow two-page spread forms, unusually, a continuation of the view of Birmingham on the recto of folio 19 (D22008), which also extends across folio 18 verso (D22007).
Before drawing on D22009 and the present page, Turner would have turned D22008 back, doubling it up almost into the gutter, and presumably held it there while extending the panorama. For other views of Birmingham, see under folio 3 verso (D21980).
Technical notes:
Although this side of the leaf is stamped ‘CCXXXVIII – 20’, his entry for that number refers to ‘Leicester Abbey’,1 the subject now bound inverted on the verso (D22011). As presently arranged, the view on the left-hand half of this page correctly matches up with the brief sliver of townscape on folio 19 verso opposite (D22009), which is itself an extension of the drawing on folio 19 recto (D22008); the latter forms a double-page view with folio 18 verso (D22007).

Matthew Imms
August 2013

A.J. Finberg, A Complete Inventory of the Drawings of the Turner Bequest, London 1909, vol.II, p.730.

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