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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner A Vessel Sailing; and Diagram of Arrangement of Pipes 1821

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 1 Recto:
A Vessel Sailing; and Diagram of Arrangement of Pipes 1821
Turner Bequest CCXI 1
Pencil on white wove paper, 113 x 189 mm
Inscribed in pencil by Turner ‘14663 | 10 20 July 182’ upper left running vertically
Inscribed in brown ink by H.S. Trimmer ‘No. 292. Contains 33 Leaves in – | Peach & Colour. | [signed] H.S. Trimmer | [signed] G. Turner’ top centre, and in pencil signed by John Prescott Knight ‘JPK’ and in pencil by Charles Lock Eastlake ‘C.L.E.’ beneath George Turner’s signature
Inscribed in red ink by John Ruskin ‘1’ bottom right
Inscribed in pencil ‘CCXI’ top left
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
The main sketch on this page depicts a vessel at sail with the outline of a shore or coastline beyond. This is one of numerous sketches of boats throughout the sketchbook which includes studies of a two-masted vessel with an eagle figurehead at Greenwich (Tate D18543; Turner Bequest CCXI 12), and a view of two boats that must have been made in France because of the inclusion of a female figure wearing a ‘Bretton cap’ (Tate D18537; Turner Bequest CCXI 15). Another sketch has been identified as a view of Dover (Tate D18526; Turner Bequest CCXI 1a). Further sketches may have been made at either of these locations, on Turner’s outward journey between Brighton and Dieppe, his return between Calais and Dover, or on the Seine: Tate D18531, D18452, D18537, D18539, D18542, D18563, D18565, D18567, D18580 and D18590 (Turner Bequest CCXI 4a, 5, 8a, 9a, 11, 26, 27, 28, 36 and 41a).
The inscribed date on this page (‘20 July 182’), in combination with the inscription: ‘Saturday 21’ on the inside front cover opposite this page (Tate D40976), has helped to date Turner’s use of this sketchbook to 1821, as it was in that year that the 21st fell in on the Saturday in July.1 The inside front cover also contains a list of costs for works carried out on Turner’s house and studio at 47 Queen Anne Street West, including the installation of a ‘water closet’. Could the diagram of pipework at the top right of the present page relate to this?

Thomas Ardill
February 2013

Ian Warrell, Turner on the Seine, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London 1999, p.253, note 41.

How to cite

Thomas Ardill, ‘A Vessel Sailing; and Diagram of Arrangement of Pipes 1821 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, February 2013, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, August 2014, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-a-vessel-sailing-and-diagram-of-arrangement-of-pipes-r1146221, accessed 29 June 2022.