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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner A Floor Plan of Two Rooms; ?A Figure or Figures c.1808-11

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 1 Recto:
A Floor Plan of Two Rooms; ?A Figure or Figures circa 1808–11
Turner Bequest CXIV 1
Pencil on white wove paper, 87 x 117 mm; part watermark ‘J Wha | 180’
Inscribed by Turner in ink and pencil (see main catalogue entry)
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘1’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CXIV – 1’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
The following account is inscribed in ink at the top of the page:
                       113 [?Arang] Arranging Committee 
1100 ..                560 cost of Catalogue 
Total Expenditure      4000 
Total .......... 
This perhaps relates to one of the Royal Academy’s annual exhibitions, then held at Somerset House, London; having been elected an Associate in 1799 and a full Royal Academician in 1802, Turner was often involved in its business.1
Below, the left half of the page is taken up with a diagram, apparently the floor plan of two rectangular rooms side by side, with measurements, presumably in feet, making them domestic in scale: ‘15’ and 20 [...]’ in the left-hand space, respectively upside down and ascending vertically, and ‘14’ and ‘17’ in the right-hand space, the first of which is ascending vertically.
The plan is drawn over some faint, irregular forms, possibly of a figure or figures; they may relate to the almost indecipherable erotic drawing on the verso of the present leaf (D40812) and a more obvious subject on folio 2 recto (D07961).
See Eric Shanes, ‘Royal Academy of Arts, London’ in Evelyn Joll, Martin Butlin and Luke Herrmann (eds.), The Oxford Companion to J.M.W. Turner, Oxford 2001, pp.270–2.
Technical notes:
There is abrasion to the centre of the right-hand (outer) edge through contact with the brass clasp at the corresponding point inside the front cover opposite (D07958).

Matthew Imms
January 2012

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘A Floor Plan of Two Rooms; ?A Figure or Figures c.1808–11 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, January 2012, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, December 2012, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-a-floor-plan-of-two-rooms-a-figure-or-figures-r1134735, accessed 28 January 2022.