Joseph Mallord William Turner

Inscription by Turner; Notes Relating to the ‘Liber Studiorum’


Not on display

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Support: 185 × 111 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLIII 2 a

Catalogue entry

Turner’s inscription reads:
Liber Studiorum         Plates out Jany 1 1819
                            {Knight’s Picture
Daw 3                 {              plate of Kingston Bank
                            {                 to get cleaned
Say                     {Glaucus & Scylla
                            {Egremont’s Picture
Turner                 {Salt Hill
Reynolds             {Woman of Samaria
                            {                 ’
This is a list of plates for Turner’s intermittent series illustrating types of landscape, the Liber Studiorum,1 which he appears to have been intending to issue on 1 January 1819. The note is evidently one of intention rather than deed, for only three of the eight listed were actually published on that day (together with two others not mentioned here) while the remaining five were never published at all.
The references are identifiable as follows:
‘Knight’s Picture’ is The Temple of Jupiter in the Island of Aegina,2 engraved by Henry Dawe after the picture painted ‘from a sketch by H.[enry] Gally Knight’, but not published. Drawings for or related to the plate are in a private collection and Tate D08173; CXVIII S.
‘Kingston Bank’ was engraved, from a drawing (Tate D08177; CXVIII W) based on the eponymous picture, by Dawe3 but not published.
‘Isis’ was engraved, from the drawing (Tate D08168; CXVIII N), by William Say4 and published on 1 January 1819.
Glaucus and Scylla’ was engraved, from the drawing (Tate D08170; CXVIII P) by Say5 but not published.
‘Egremont’s Picture’ is identifiable as Apullia in Search of Appullus, engraved by Say6 but not published; no drawing is known.
‘Salt Hill’ is Windsor Castle from Salt Hill, engraved, from the drawing (Tate D08171; Turner Bequest CXVIII Q), by Charles Turner7 but not published.
‘Winchelsea’ is East Gate, Winchelsea, Sussex, engraved from the drawing (Tate D08167; CXVIII M), by S.W. Reynolds8 and published on 1 January 1819.

David Hill
June 2009

Gillian Forrester, ‘Liber Studiorum’ in Evelyn Joll, Martin Butlin and Luke Herrmann (eds.), The Oxford Companion to J.M.W. Turner, Oxford 2001, pp.166–9.
Forrester 1996, p.141 no.77.
Ibid., p.153 no.87.
Ibid., p.130 no.68.
Ibid., pp.135–6 no.73.
Ibid., pp.133–4 no.72. The designation ‘Egremont’s Picture’ stems from Turner’s composition being derived from a picture by Claude in Lord Egremont’s Collection at Petworth. Finberg mistakenly connected the reference to a plate of Narcissus and Echo (Forrester 1996, p.156 no.90), which is based on a Turner painting owned by Lord Egremont, but only etched proofs of that plate are known, and William Say had no known hand in it.
Forrester 1996, pp.136–7 no.74.
Ibid., p.129 no.67.
Ibid., p.133 no.71.

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