Joseph Mallord William Turner

La Haye Sainte, Waterloo, from the South

?1817

Not on display

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 89 × 112 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D12126
Turner Bequest CLIV a 2

Catalogue entry

This very faint drawing of buildings in a landscape corresponds closely with a pencil sketch of La Haye Sainte farmhouse from the south among those made on Turner’s 1817 visit to the 1815 battlefield of Waterloo in the Waterloo and Rhine sketchbook (Tate D12741; Turner Bequest CLX 21a; compare also D12740; CLX 21). The inscriptions here correspond with two on the more extensively annotated D12741: ‘4000 [sic] | killed here’ and ‘Orchard’.
Another faint ink drawing of La Haye Sainte appears on folio 1 recto (D12124). It is unclear whether Turner made these two ink drawings at the site, or (perhaps more likely as he almost exclusively used pencil when travelling) reprised the compositions here from the Waterloo and Rhine sketches. For other Waterloo-related material in the present sketchbook and Turner’s development of the theme, see under folio 1 recto.
Technical notes:
The ink is now a very pale brown, having presumably faded considerably. The central portion of the right-hand edge has irregular losses, apparently caused by rubbing against the clasp of the original cover (see the Introduction to the sketchbook), similarly affecting the leaves from folio 1 (D12124, D12125) as far as folio 6 (the recto of which is D12132). There is a pale brown stain radiating from the centre of the right-hand edge, again seemingly caused by proximity to the original clasp.
There appears to be the impression of a number ‘2’ next to the stamped figure at the bottom right, in accordance with John Ruskin’s usual practice of foliating Turner’s sketchbooks, but if written in ink it has faded completely. There are clearer numbers on most of the later pages (see the Introduction to the sketchbook).

Matthew Imms
September 2013

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