Joseph Mallord William Turner

Inscription by Turner; Note of a ?Commission by Charles Cope of Leeds


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 173 × 260 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXLVIII 25

Catalogue entry

The inscription (inverted as presently bound) appears to record a commission by Charles Cope of Leeds. A similar inscription appears on folio 36 recto (D11556; Turner Bequest CXLVIII 20) in relation to a sketch of Kilnsey Crag in Wharfedale. Because of the unreliable order of pages in this part of the book (see Introduction), it is not altogether clear to which subject the present inscription might relate, although it currently faces a sketch of Mossdale Head on folio 31 verso (D11568; Turner Bequest CXLVIII 27a). Charles Cope was an artist in his own right, and also an engraver, and it may be that he intended to publish a couple of Turner subjects. It is interesting that the inscription appears to be dated nine years after the drawings in the sketchbook were made, although Turner was certainly referring to them in the mid-1820s as the source of compositions for his series of Picturesque Views in England and Wales (see for example the subject of Richmond on folio 25 verso (D11544; Turner Bequest CXLVIII 13a).

David Hill
May 2009

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