Joseph Mallord William Turner

Inscription by Turner


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 94 × 74 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXIV 12 a

Catalogue entry

This is the first, or last, of three pages of writing by Turner in pencil. While a few individual words have been picked out, many have not been deciphered and the general meaning has not been discerned. This may be an example of Turner’s poetry. That it is written in pencil, rather than pen and ink, suggests that it may have been composed while on tour, perhaps inspired by a day’s travelling. The page is turned to the right and a rough transcription is below.
Ye fury who behind
Your whol reip – [?]then
Grey [...] fl[...]y [?]ring
[?]Kill the [...] [...] ground
in the [?]court [?]work – [?]like
[...] the b[...] while your
[...] // [?]mushroom
cherry [...]
b...ful [...]
who will [?]follow & [...] by
The inscription continues on folios 13 and 13 verso (D25548, D25549). Folio 20 verso (D25562) also contains an inscription that may relate to this one.

Thomas Ardill
September 2009

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