Joseph Mallord William Turner

Figures, a Dog and ?Flags, Related to ‘England: Richmond Hill’; Diagrams


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 87 × 119 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXIX 2

Catalogue entry

At the top left are slight diagrams, labelled ‘Ubaldus’, the Latin form of Guidobaldo del Monte; there are notes from the latter’s perspective treatise in connection with Turner’s Royal Academy lectures in the Perspective sketchbook (Tate D07427, D07428; Turner Bequest CVIII 43, 43a), and a related lecture diagram (Tate D17043; Turner Bequest CXCV 73).
Of the two female figures at the top, the left-hand one appears to be a close variation in reverse of the dancing nymph in Turner’s Apullia in Search of Appullus (Tate N00495), exhibited at the British Institution in 1814.1 This resemblance may be fortuitous or a deliberate echo, as the other figures appear to relate in spirit if not in their precise poses to those in the fête champêtre setting of Turner’s ambitious painting England: Richmond Hill, on the Prince Regent’s Birthday, exhibited in 1819 (Tate N00502),2 which includes various spaniels and an upturned parasol like the one towards the bottom left here. The loose shapes at the right here might be variations on the large flag among the trees in the painting.
The draft of poetry on folio 1 verso opposite (D13752) may also relate to Richmond Hill.

Matthew Imms
September 2013

Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984, pp.91–2 no.128, pl.134.
Ibid., pp.106–7 no.140, Pl.145 (colour).

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