Joseph Mallord William Turner

Historical Notes (Inscriptions by Turner)


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

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Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Ink on paper
Support: 108 × 185 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CV 81 a

Catalogue entry

Turner’s inscription reads:
Suetonius coach used | hanging carroch | Claudius and his Son given the | name of Brittanicus from their first | Expedition to Britain and to | give a proof of the value in which | this island was held even at that | time ... confirmed | and even strengthened invention | at ... additional honors at being | considered not inferior to their | proudest triumphs and splendours | provinces acquired by their arms | and altho it cost them as | many Legions to preserve the Island | yet they did not forsake it but in | their last Extremity, and some | data may be drawn from that | Triumph to elucidate that Brit|ain was considered as Mistress of | the Seas, by her Statue being | surmounted by a naval coronet | and the province given a crown of Gold | Gallia Comata France & Spain ... 16
These notes on the Emperor Claudius refer to the Lives of the Caesars by Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus. Gallia Comata (‘long-haired Gaul’) comprised much of present-day northern France, Belgium and westernmost Germany. There are further historical notes on folio 90 verso (D07110; Turner Bequest CV 80a)

David Blayney Brown
June 2010

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