Joseph Mallord William Turner

Inscription by Turner: Title of Sketchbook


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 141 × 215 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXXV a 1

Catalogue entry

With its sunned or stained, rubbed appearance, this sheet appears to have served as an outer cover of the sketchbook (or sequence of loose leaves – see below). It is inscribed by Turner towards the top, with ‘Tintagel to Bude’ crossed out and the revised itinerary above it probably written as a second thought, ‘Ifacombe’ being Ilfracombe. In fact, the sketchbook as now constituted includes views in the south and west of Devon and Cornwall, not just the limited stretch of their northern coasts between the points Turner notes.
As discussed in the introduction, the pages of this ‘sketchbook’ appear to have originally been loose sheets, and are not recorded in Finberg’s 1909 Inventory of the Bequest, although he subsequently noted the inscription here as ‘“Bude Clovelly Ilfacombe | Tintagel to Bude”’ in a manuscript listing,1 while C.F. Bell gave it as ‘“Bude, Clovely, Ilfracombe. Tintagel to Bude”’.2 Figures usually corresponding to Finberg’s MS catalogue page numbers, which differ from Bell’s sequence, are inscribed on the verso of most sheets, although in this case they appear here, on the recto as now bound.
There is a small, scribbled pencil mark towards the bottom left.
A.J. Finberg, MS addenda, [circa 1928–39], tipped into a copy of his A Complete Inventory of the Drawings of the Turner Bequest, London 1909, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, vol.I, opposite p.357, as CXXV(a) 90 Reverse.
C.F. Bell, MS addenda, [after 1928], tipped into a copy of Finberg 1909, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, vol.I, p.356A, as CXXVa 1.
Technical notes:
There are glue stains at the four corners of the page, as the sheet, like all those in this book, appears to have been pasted down previously, in this instance to show the drawing on the verso (D41276). The sheet is slightly wrinkled, possibly as a result of exposure to damp.

Matthew Imms
July 2011

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