Joseph Mallord William Turner

Inscription by Turner: A List of Works and Prices

c.1818

Not on display
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 112 x 89 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D12204
Turner Bequest CLIV a 58

Catalogue entry

Turned vertically, the whole page is taken up with the following pencil notes:
Waterloo     Fawkes     40
[?Ghent]  
Ships. – 
Knights –               25 
Wheeler – –             30 
Allason          –      20 
Cooke. Vesuvius –       30 
Richmond                25 
[?Guide to Stratford]   30 
Raby –                 200 
Dort.                  550 
Scarboro.               30 
[?castle & town]}  
Murray .          –    400 
                      1380 
Cooke – Hastings        40 
Coast.                  30 
Rye.     Battle         16 
         [?m]         1466 
The upper part of the list is written over an existing two-line inscription in fainter pencil: the beginning of the first line is overwritten with ‘Waterloo’ and what seems to be ‘Ghent’, and ends, possibly with a ‘y’ under the first part of ‘Fawkes’; ‘January’ is then clearer, under the end of ‘Fawkes’ with its ‘y’ coinciding with the ‘4’ of ‘40’; the first part of the second line is overwritten with ‘Wheeler’ and the two dashes, and appears to end in ‘y’; ‘February’, or rather what appears to be ‘Febury’ is clearer, its ‘y’ overwritten by the ‘3’ of ‘30’. It is possible that the obscured words also signify one or both of these months, as they are repeated in a similar inscription on folio 60 recto (D12206; CLIV a 59).
This list serves to demonstrate the variety and complexity of Turner’s working activities at this time. The prices are assumed to be in guineas. ‘Waterloo Fawkes 40’ seems to refer to the watercolour The Field of Waterloo of about 1817, which was in collection of Turner’s Yorkshire patron Walter Fawkes and his descendants before passing to the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge (for other Waterloo material in the present book see under folio 1 recto; D12124).1
The significance of ‘Ghent’ is unclear, as no finished composition of this Belgian subject is recorded. The specific connotation of ‘Ships’ is also unknown. ‘Knights – 25’ might refer in some way to Henry Galley Knight (1786–1846), an amateur artist who may have owned or commissioned the Turner painting based on his own studies: View of the Temple of Jupiter Panellenius, in the Island of Aegina, with the Greek National Dance of the Romaika: the Acropolis of Athens in the Distance. Painted from a Sketch Taken by H. Gally Knight, Esq. in 1810, exhibited in 1816 (private collection).2

Matthew Imms
September 2013

1
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.356 no.494, reproduced.
2
Butlin and Joll 1984, pp.98–100 no.134, pl.139 (colour).
3
Wilton 1979, p.490 no.689a, reproduced, as c.1820 without early provenance.
4
See Yardley 1986, pp.51, 54, 58.
5
Powell 1991, p.34, and Powell 1995, p.28; see also Powell 1991, p.59 note 62, and Powell 1995, p.77 note 53.
6
Not in Wilton 1979; reproduced Yardley 1986, p.57, ill.10.
7
See Powell 1984a, p.41.
8
See Yardley 1986, pp.56, 58, 60 note 24.
9
Most recently transcribed in Eric Shanes, Turner’s Rivers, Harbours and Coasts, London 1981, p.154.
10
Wilton 1979, p.381 no.698, reproduced.
11
Ibid., no.699, reproduced.
12
Ibid.
13
Ibid., p.364 no.559, reproduced.
14
Ibid., no.560.
15
See David Hill, In Turner’s Footsteps: Through the Hills and Dales of Northern England, London 1984, p.106 under no.7.
16
Butlin and Joll 1984, pp.101–2 no.136, pl.142 (colour).
17
Ibid., p.101.
18
Ibid., pp.102–4 no.137, pl.140 (colour).
19
See ibid., p.102.
20
Wilton 1979, p.360 no.529, reproduced.
21
Ibid., pp.381–3 nos.700–17, mostly reproduced.
22
See Powell 1982, pp.412, 422 note 26; and Powell 1984b, pp.55, 452 note 21; see also Nugent and Melva 1997, p.71.
23
Transcribed in Shanes 1981, p.154.
24
Wilton 1979, p.357 no.504, reproduced.
25
See also Eric Shanes, Turner’s England 1810–38, London 1990, pp.10, 34–5.
26
Wilton 1979, p.353 no.464.
27
Ibid., p.353 no.469, reproduced.
28
Ibid., p.355 no.482.
29
Transcribed in Shanes 1981, p.154.
30
Wilton 1979, p.348 no.423.
31
Ibid., pp.353–4 no.471, reproduced.

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