Joseph Mallord William Turner

Inscriptions and Sketches


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 125 × 201 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856

Catalogue entry

The inside back cover of this sketchbook was used by Turner and others for inscriptions and several very slight sketches. The first inscription at the top left is written in pencil and matches the handwriting of the longer inscription opposite in the sketchbook on folio 92 verso (D26618). The script is not typical of Turner’s note taking in his sketchbooks, though is a fair match for his more careful handwriting. It gives the address of his friend and patron Hugh Munro whom Turner was to visit at ‘Novar House’ near ‘Evanton’ at the end of his Scottish tour in 1831,1 before returning home via Aberdeen and Edinburgh (see Tour of Scotland for Scott’s Poetical Works 1831 Tour Introduction). Turner gave the same address for correspondence in a letter to Edward Francis Finden posted from Oban on 2 September 1831.2 The pencil inscription ‘J Conway’ written along the left-hand edge of the page is also in the same hand.
A sketch across the centre of the page, drawn with the book inverted from Munro’s address, is a rough outline of a mountain and beneath this is a diagram made up of three squares. At the head of the page, drawn with the head at the top, is a tiny sketch of a ruin which closely matches sketches of Ardtornish Castle on the Morvern shore of the Sound of Mull on folio 82 (D26597).
At the foot of the page, written with the sketchbook inverted, are the endorsements of Turner’s executors. See transcription above.

Thomas Ardill
June 2010

Turner’s note ‘NB’ stands for North Britain, i.e. Scotland.
Gage 1980, p.145–6 letter 172.

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