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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner A Group of Figures; a Tower c.1830

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 14 Verso:
A Group of Figures; a Tower c.1830
Turner Bequest CCCLXIII 14a
Pencil on white wove paper, 98 x 76 mm
Inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘[?C... S... P...]’ top left
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
With the page turned vertically, Turner has made a rapid study of figures, apparently a woman in a bonnet and possibly children seen from the back. The circumstances are unclear, unless the radiating lines below represent the deck or hull framework of a boat, although other features there suggest a separate landscape sketch. The significance of the square tower at the top right is also uncertain, as is the reading of the scrawled works above, which perhaps indicate a place name.
There are other groups of figures on folio 15 recto opposite (D35785), and across folios 28 verso–29 recto (D35807–D35808; Turner Bequest CCCLXIII 27v–28); Finberg though the latter were passengers ‘on board a packet’.1

Matthew Imms
September 2016

Finberg 1909, II, p.1178.

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘A Group of Figures; a Tower c.1830 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, September 2016, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, December 2016, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-a-group-of-figures-a-tower-r1183747, accessed 20 October 2021.