Joseph Mallord William Turner

Inscription ?by Turner: A Name and Address


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 186 × 224 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856

Catalogue entry

Turner’s close friend and major patron Walter Fawkes (1769–1825) was appointed High Sheriff of Yorkshire for the customary one year term in 1823.1 This sheet appears to have initially been an envelope, addressed to him in that role.2 Whether it was unsent or returned to Turner for some reason (assuming it is in his hand), is undetermined. Having possibly kept it initially for sentimental reasons, the artist eventually used the other side (Tate D34924; Turner Bequest CCCXLIV 427) for a study relating to a painting exhibited in 1837.
Compare Tate D40449, an envelope apparently addressed to Turner from Fawkes; the artist used the other side for a compositional study (Tate D27656; Turner Bequest CCLXXX 139).
See James Hamilton, ‘Fawkes, Walter Ramsden Hawkesworth (1769–1825)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, accessed 28 April 2016,
See Butlin and Joll 1984, p.221.
Technical notes:
As discussed above, the sheet initially served as an envelope, and was folded numerous times; there is slight tearing along the creases at the top and bottom edges.

Matthew Imms
August 2016

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