This is one of two leaves removed and noted by Finberg.5 Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll refer to this page as ‘p. 50 verso’,6 misled by Finberg’s system of numbering which, while sometimes using the suffix ‘a’ to denote a verso, often indicates an inserted leaf thus. As they themselves point out, there is a ‘verso’ on which the commissions from Messrs Pope and Blake are noted. In fact, Turner made use of other drawings of Conwy in the process of designing his oil painting, including those on folios 82 recto and 83 recto (D01305, D01306; Turner Bequest XXXVIII 51, 52). See also the rectos of folios 80, 81, 84, 85 and 86 (D01303, D01304, D01336, D01307, D01308; Turner Bequest XXXVIII 50, 50a, 82, 53, 54).
The sheet is discoloured from prolonged exposure while touring in the Third Loan Collection.
Inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘Mr Leader | 4 F. 8 long | 3 F. 6 wide 70’ (all loosely crossed out), ‘Wm Blake’, and ‘Pope’, and in a later hand ‘
No 24’; stamped in brown ink with Turner Bequest monogram.
‘Mr Leader’ is William Leader, an early patron of Turner’s. His son was J. Temple Leader of Putney Hill. At his sale at Christie’s, London, on 18 March 1843 included seven watercolours by Turner. William Blake of Newhouse was a pupil of Turner’s; see the verso of folio 76 (D01300; Turner Bequest XXXVIII 47). It is possible that he himself put his name on the sheet. ‘Pope’ refers to Alexander Pope (1763–1835), a miniature painter, who also commissioned views of Ludlow and Llyn Cwellyn; see folios 66 and 96 (D01351, D01261; Turner Bequest XXXVIII 97, 11a).