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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Egyptian Details sketchbook c.1799–1800

Turner Bequest LXVI 1–132
Sketchbook bound in boards covered in calf leather, with gold-tooled spine and one clasp (missing)
134 leaves of blue laid paper, including a blank front flyleaf; page size, 166 x 83 mm
Numbered 252 as part of the Turner Schedule in 1854, and endorsed by the Executors of the Turner Bequest, Henry Scott Trimmer, Charles Turner, Charles Lock Eastlake and John Prescott Knight in ink ‘No 252 | Containing 20 Pen Ink | & Pencil Sketches | H.S. Trimmer | C Turner’ and in pencil ‘C.L.E.’ and ‘JPK’ on front flyleaf recto, towards top
Inscribed in pencil ‘LXVI’ inside front cover, top left
Stamped in black ‘LXVI’ inside front cover, top left
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
This sketchbook should be examined in association with the Studies for Pictures book (Tate; Turner Bequest LXIX). Both have leaves stained by the leather fold-overs on the inside covers, suggesting flood damage; they are different in size of page and type of binding, but there are parallels in the range of subject matter. Both deal with similar themes, notably marine compositions and Antique artefacts, studied for use in historical pictures. Relatively few leaves of the Egyptian Details book, however, have been drawn on. It was not unusual for Turner to use a pair of sketchbooks in tandem like this: compare the Smaller South Wales and South Wales sketchbook of 1795 for instance (Tate; Turner Bequest XXV, XXVI), or the Hereford Court and North Wales sketchbooks of 1798 (Tate; Turner Bequest XXXVIII, XXXIX).
Finberg records that ‘Turner’s label on back [i.e. the spine] has been partially destroyed’ and gives its inscription as ‘48 ...’;1 nothing of it now survives.
Finberg 1909, I, p.167.

Andrew Wilton
May 2013

Revised by Matthew Imms
March 2015

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How to cite

Andrew Wilton, ‘Egyptian Details sketchbook c.1799–1800’, sketchbook, May 2013, revised by Matthew Imms, March 2015, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, April 2016, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/egyptian-details-sketchbook-r1180072, accessed 23 January 2022.