Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Royal Squadron Perhaps with the Royal George


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 114 × 187 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
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

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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