Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Royal Squadron Perhaps with the Royal George

1822

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 114 × 187 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D17629
Turner Bequest CC 70

Catalogue entry

This sketch of shipping at Leith, made with the sketchbook inverted, focuses on a large vessel seen from stern-on with other vessels of the royal squadron at anchor and boats under sail. Like the boat on folio 6 verso (D17519), and the boats on folio 71 (D17631), identified by Finley as the Royal George, this vessel has flags flying from each of its three masts. There also appears to be a small boat to its right with several figures on board. This sketch may therefore show the Royal George (see folio 4; D17514), with perhaps Sir Walter Scott arriving to greet the King (see folio 49 verso; D17590). The two inscriptions on the page may refer to the arrival of boats, but they are obscure and do no match any of the boats recorded to be part of the royal squadron.1

Thomas Ardill
August 2008

1
For a full list of vessels of the royal squadron see Robert Mudie, An Historical Account of His Majesty’s Visit to Scotland, Edinburgh 1822, p.82.

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