Joseph Mallord William Turner

Sketches and Notes, Possibly of Paintings


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 110 × 68 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXL 36 a

Catalogue entry

With the page turned vertically, Turner has drawn a series of small diagrams with associated notes, which continue ‘below’ on folio 37 recto opposite (D22391). Finberg described them as ‘unintelligible’,1 and no attempt has been made here to systematically transcribe the notes, as only occasional letters can be recognised or guessed at. Towards the top right, following the first few words, is a disk, possibly representing the sun, which appears to be labelled ‘P[...] Sun’ below. It was possibly observed from nature, or alternatively noted from a painting Turner had seen, since there are four rectangles, at least two of which are inscribed, scattered among the rest of the notes on this page; these might be memoranda of paintings, perhaps seen in a Midlands collection in the course of Turner’s tour.
Finberg 1909, II, p.739.
Technical notes:
This leaf is affected by the extensive pale brown, mottled staining which extends throughout this particular gathering (folios 31–42; D22379–D22402) and also folios 30 and 43 recto and verso (D22377, D22378, D22403, D22404), as discussed in the Technical notes to the sketchbook’s Introduction.

Matthew Imms
August 2013

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