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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Accounts; and a Sketch 1830-1

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 64 Verso:
Accounts; and a Sketch 1830–1
Turner Bequest CCLXIV 64a
Pencil on white wove paper, 74 x 94 mm
Inscribed in black ink by Turner across the top of the page
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner’s black ink inscriptions on this page, made with the book turned to the right, refer to dates in the autumn of 1830, and assuming that they were not made nearly a year after that, they suggest that this sketchbook was first in use in late 1830 or early 1831. Turner also used the sketchbook for practice or research relating to the life drawing class at the Royal Academy before he took it on tour in 1831 (see folio 3 verso; D25529). The figures are likely to be cheque numbers (15840, 19604, 19605, 19606 [or ‘8’], 1637) with their amount (19, 100, 500 guineas) and dates (4 October, 22 October and 30 August). The inscription is transcribed below.
19 – 15840 – 4 Oct. 1830
100 19604 23 Oct. 1830
500 1637 – 30 aug. 1830
Beneath the inscriptions, drawn in pencil and with the sketchbook inverted from its usual orientation, are a series of serpentine lines and scribbles. Finberg has interpreted these are trees,1 though they could equally represent flames or smoke.

Thomas Ardill
September 2009

Finberg 1909, II, 849.

How to cite

Thomas Ardill, ‘Accounts; and a Sketch 1830–1 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, September 2009, 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-accounts-and-a-sketch-r1134003, accessed 03 December 2020.