Joseph Mallord William Turner

Verses (Inscription by Turner)

c.1808

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 115 × 76 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D06800
Turner Bequest CII 41

Catalogue entry

Some words at least can be made out, as below:
From that ... shrine
But yesterday O most sublime
Mr P the note that stood alone
... indivisible and one
... of space
of infinity
unbound[ed] space ... vacuity
‘Mr P’ is Alexander Pope, whose poetry and demolished villa at Twickenham are mentioned throughout this sketchbook. A longer and very different version of these lines, in which Turner alludes to the inflated literary reputation of Eliza Haywood and her satirisation in Pope’s Dunciad, is on folio 33 (D06784). In both passages, Turner borrows Pope’s description of Haywood as ‘vacuous’.

David Blayney Brown
March 2007

Read full Catalogue entry

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