J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Copenhagen to Dresden sketchbook 1835

CCCVII 1–59a
Sketchbook quarter-bound in boards covered with brown and blue marbled paper, brown leather vertical edging on front and back covers and brown leather spine decorated with gold-tooled horizontal lines.
Inside pouch of brown and blue marbled paper affixed to front cover, gussets of blue, red and white marbled paper.
Three loops of thick dark green parchment for pencils or fastening (two affixed to front cover at top and bottom and one affixed to centre of back cover).
Inscribed in pencil by Turner ‘1813’ and ‘[...]3’ on paper pastedown of front cover, at centre and at bottom right
Signed by H.S. Trimmer and Charles Turner in black ink and inscribed ‘No 399 – | Contains 57 Leaves | Pencil Sketches –’ at bottom of back cover pastedown
Signed in pencil by Charles Locke Eastlake ‘C.L.E.’ and John Prescott Knight ‘JPK’ at bottom of back cover pastedown
Blind-stamped with Turner Bequest monogram, top of spine on front cover
Stamped in black ‘CCCVII’ top right of front cover
Inscribed in pencil ‘CCCVII 579’ top right of inside front cover pastedown
59 leaves of cream laid paper with front and rear pastedowns of similar paper
Watermarked with a beehive surrounded by garlands and bees, Double X mark and ‘cfw & s
Approximate size of page 162 x 89 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner used this sketchbook to record his last days in Copenhagen and the journey across the Baltic Sea to Prussia. Looking back towards the city from Copenhagen Sound (Øresund), his sketches of the Christianshavn, Tekroner Fort and harbour were used to develop Battle of the Baltic (National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh), an illustration for Thomas Campbell’s Poetical Works (1837).1 Docking at Stettin (today’s Szczecin), Turner travelled through Pomerania in the direction of the Prussian capital Berlin. He prepared for his stint in German-speaking territories by inscribing the first pages of the sketchbook with English phrases translated into German and deutsche Kurrent. Thirty-eight pages of sketches show Berlin’s major sites like the Lustgarten and Kreuzberg and the majority of Karl Friedrich Schinkel’s neo-classical additions. Next are sketches of Dresden. Perhaps the most interesting of these are copies of paintings Turner saw at Dresden Gallery, which then housed Germany’s finest collection of old master paintings. Folios 5 recto to 6 verso (Tate D31030–D31033; Turner Bequest CCCVII 6–7a) show reproductions of tableaux by Correggio, Raphael and Claude, amongst others, all annotated with notes.
As a young student Turner trained by copying old master paintings either at first hand or from reproductions. By 1835, the art historian Ian Warrell writes, the artist held well ‘established ideas about which of his predecessors were of particular significance to his own art’.2 At Dresden he sought out specific models to ‘[round] out gaps in his knowledge’: chiefly works by Correggio and Claude.3 Turner may have also been interested, Warrell writes, ‘to assess’ Dresden’s collections, ‘with a view to how this could inform the National Gallery’s forthcoming move to Trafalgar Square’.4
1
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.453 no.1278.
2
Ian Warrell, ‘Stolen hints from celebrated Pictures’: Turner as Copyist, Collector and Consumer of Old Master Paintings’, in David Solkin (ed.), Turner and the Masters, exhibition catalogue, Tate Britain, London 2009, p.54.
3
Ibid.
4
Ibid.
Table of Concordance:
FolioTate NumberTurner Bequest Number
3 RectoD31026CCCVII 4
3 VersoD31027CCCVII 4 a
4 Recto D31028CCCVII 5
4 VersoD31029CCCVII 5 a
5 RectoD31030CCCVII 6
5 VersoD31031CCCVII 6 a
6 RectoD31032CCCVII 7
6 VersoD31033CCCVII 7 a
7 RectoD31034CCCVII 8
7 VersoD31035CCCVII 8 a
8 RectoD31036CCCVII 9
8 VersoD31037CCCVII 9 a
9 RectoD31038CCCVII 10
9 VersoD31039CCCVII 10 a
10 RectoD31040CCCVII 11
10 VersoD31041CCCVII 11 a
11 RectoD31042CCCVII 12
11 VersoD31043CCCVII 12 a
12 RectoD31044CCCVII 13
12 VersoD31045CCCVII 13 a
13 RectoD31046CCCVII 14
13 VersoD31047CCCVII 14 a
14 RectoD31048CCCVII 15
14 VersoD31049CCCVII 15 a
15 RectoD31050CCCVII 16
15 VersoD31051CCCVII 16 a
16 RectoD31052CCCVII 17
16 VersoD31053CCCVII 17 a
17 RectoD31054CCCVII 18
17 VersoD31055CCCVII 18 a
18 RectoD31056CCCVII 19
18 VersoD31057CCCVII 19 a
19 RectoD31058CCCVII 20
19 VersoD31059CCCVII 20 a
20 RectoD31060CCCVII 21
20 VersoD31061CCCVII 21 a
21 RectoD31062CCCVII 22
21 VersoD31063CCCVII 22 a
22 RectoD31064CCCVII 23
22 VersoD31065CCCVII 23 a
23 RectoD31066CCCVII 24
23 VersoD31067CCCVII 24 a
24 RectoD31068CCCVII 25
24 VersoD31069CCCVII 25 a
25 RectoD31070CCCVII 26
25 VersoD31071CCCVII 26 a
26 RectoD31072CCCVII 27
26 VersoD31073CCCVII 27 a
27 RectoD31074CCCVII 28
27 VersoD31075CCCVII 28 a
28 RectoD31076CCCVII 29
28 VersoD31077CCCVII 29 a
29 RectoD31078CCCVII 30
29 VersoD31079CCCVII 30 a
30 RectoD31080CCCVII 31
30 VersoD31081CCCVII 31 a
31 RectoD31082CCCVII 32
31 VersoD31083CCCVII 32 a
32 RectoD31084CCCVII 33
32 VersoD31085CCCVII 33 a
33 RectoD31086CCCVII 34
33 VersoD31087CCCVII 34 a
34 RectoD31088CCCVII 35
34 VersoD31089CCCVII 35 a
35 RectoD31090CCCVII 36
35 VersoD31091CCCVII 36 a
36 RectoD31092CCCVII 37
36 VersoD31093CCCVII 37 a
37 RectoD31024CCCVII 3
37 VersoD31025CCCVII 3 a
38 RectoD31094CCCVII 38
38 Verso D31095CCCVII 38 a
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How to cite

‘Copenhagen to Dresden sketchbook 1835’, sketchbook, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, August 2017, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/copenhagen-to-dresden-sketchbook-r1186893, accessed 23 January 2021.