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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner A Large Broken Stone Partly Covered with Weeds: Perhaps Related to the Foreground of 'Mercury and Herse' c.1812-13

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 21 Recto:
A Large Broken Stone Partly Covered with Weeds: Perhaps Related to the Foreground of ‘Mercury and Herse’ c.1812–13
D09083
Turner Bequest CXXIX 21
Pencil on white wove paper, 178 x 110 mm
Watermarked ‘[WHAT]MAN | [180]5’
Trace of inscription by ?John Ruskin in red ink ‘21 [?]’ bottom left, descending vertically
Stamped in brown ‘CXXIX 21’ bottom left, descending vertically
 
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Despite Finberg’s comparison with the foreground of the painting Mercury and Herse (on the London art market in 2005),1 Butlin and Joll maintain that the drawing ‘does not correspond with any feature in the oil’. If the indications at the bottom right of the block of masonry are read as seated figures, however, the correspondence, though not exact, is perhaps close enough to be considered significant.
1
Butlin and Joll 1984, pp.80–2 no.114, pl.122; Sotheby’s sale, London, 5 July 2005, lot 40.
Technical notes:
There is an offset from the pen and ink drawing on folio 20 verso (D09082), opposite.

David Hill
October 2008

How to cite

David Hill, ‘A Large Broken Stone Partly Covered with Weeds: Perhaps Related to the Foreground of ‘Mercury and Herse’ c.1812–13 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, October 2008, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, September 2014, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-a-large-broken-stone-partly-covered-with-weeds-perhaps-r1146805, accessed 21 June 2024.