Joseph Mallord William Turner

Inscription by Turner: Notes Concerning a Commission


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 329 × 225 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest XLV 28

Catalogue entry

In his inscription, inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation, Turner has misspelt his patron’s name: he was Thomas Lister Parker, of Browsholme Hall, in the Trough of Bowland. As David Hill and Stanley Warburton point out,1 this note would seem to have been made in 1801 or thereafter, since it was in that year that Turner first visited Loch Lomond, on his tour to the Scottish Highlands. The price of 40 guineas suggests, as they note, that the picture in question was an oil painting.
Turner made a watercolour of Browsholme Hall (private collection),2 engraved in 1800 for Thomas Dunham Whitaker’s History of Whalley (Tate impression: T05931); Turner probably stayed with Parker, as he seems to have done with Whitaker (see folios 14 verso–15 recto; D01928–D01929). However, no preparatory drawing is known, though one must have existed. It may have been on one of the leaves torn from this book, and this manuscript note seems to indicate that Turner met Parker on this tour.

Andrew Wilton
May 2013

See Hill and others 1980, p.75.
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.332 no.291, reproduced.

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