Joseph Mallord William Turner

Figures, Probably on the Moors near Farnley Hall

1816

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 179 x 254 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D09850
Turner Bequest CXXXIV 53

Catalogue entry

Although slight, this sketch probably shows the moors near Walter Fawkes’s home, Farnley Hall, and the figures on the left may be on an excursion from the house, like those on folios 32 recto and 33 recto (D09882; D09791; Turner Bequest CCCIV 78, 2); it is unclear whether the nearest figure is riding a horse. Other such sketches in this book are discussed under D09882. More generally, views at and around Farnley Hall and nearby Yorkshire properties belonging to Walter Fawkes are noted under folio 1 verso (D09790).
Finberg tentatively suggested the subject here as ‘Lancaster Sands’,1 presumably prompted by the low, relatively featureless terrain Turner shows here. The artist had crossed Morecambe Bay towards Lancaster at low tide when returning from the Lake District and eventually heading back to Farnley on his extensive Yorkshire and Lancashire tour earlier of July and August 1816;2 he made a watercolour of Lancaster Sands in about 1818 (Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery),3 and another with the same title in about 1826 (British Museum, London),4 engraved in 1828 for the Picturesque Views in England and Wales (Tate impressions: T04534, T04535); the latter has been compared with a ‘colour beginning’ (Tate D25132; Turner Bequest CCLXIII 10). However, there are no other sketches in this book, apparently in use in Yorkshire in the late summer of 1816 (see the Introduction), to suggest that he used it outside the county at that time.
1
Finberg 1909, I, p.382.
2
See David Hill, In Turner’s Footsteps: Through the Hills and Dales of Northern England, London 1984, pp.84–5.
3
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.367 no.581, reproduced.
4
Ibid., p.393 no.803, reproduced.
Verso:
Blank

Matthew Imms
July 2014

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