Joseph Mallord William Turner

Pictures with Curtains on the Wall of a Gallery


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 108 × 185 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CV 42 a

Catalogue entry

Drawn with the sketchbook inverted, this drawing shows a single row of five pictures with curtains or blinds to screen them, hanging on a wall with a chimneypiece. There also appears to be some sort of decorated cornice adjoining the ceiling, which in view of the protection allowed for the pictures, is presumably to have glazed roof lights; designs for these follow on folios 47 verso–48 verso (D07045–D07047; Turner Bequest CV 43a–44a). There is a further drawing of curtains round pictures facing on folio 47 (D07044; Turner Bequest CV 43) and another on folio 22 (D07005; Turner Bequest CV 19a); both these show a sloped edge to the ceiling. Evidently, Turner is making plans for his own gallery, as in other drawings and diagrams in the sketchbook. On folio 77 verso (D07085; Turner Bequest 67a), along with specifications for heating and ventilation, Turner notes ‘the Blinds to bow and set behind a moulding to exclude the Sun’s rays’. See Introduction to the sketchbook for Turner’s new gallery behind his house in Queen Anne Street West, opened in 1822.

David Blayney Brown
June 2010

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