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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Figures, Probably on the Moors near Farnley Hall 1816

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 55 Recto:
Figures, Probably on the Moors near Farnley Hall 1816
Turner Bequest CXXXIV 53
Pencil on white wove paper with gilt edges, 179 x 254 mm
Watermark ‘J Whatman | 1811’ (lower part of date trimmed at edge of leaf)
Blind-stamped with Turner Bequest monogram bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CXXXIV – 53’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Although slight, this sketch probably shows the moors near Walter Fawkes’s home, Farnley Hall, and the figures on the left may be on an excursion from the house, like those on folios 32 recto and 33 recto (D09882; D09791; Turner Bequest CCCIV 78, 2); it is unclear whether the nearest figure is riding a horse. Other such sketches in this book are discussed under D09882. More generally, views at and around Farnley Hall and nearby Yorkshire properties belonging to Walter Fawkes are noted under folio 1 verso (D09790).
Finberg tentatively suggested the subject here as ‘Lancaster Sands’,1 presumably prompted by the low, relatively featureless terrain Turner shows here. The artist had crossed Morecambe Bay towards Lancaster at low tide when returning from the Lake District and eventually heading back to Farnley on his extensive Yorkshire and Lancashire tour earlier of July and August 1816;2 he made a watercolour of Lancaster Sands in about 1818 (Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery),3 and another with the same title in about 1826 (British Museum, London),4 engraved in 1828 for the Picturesque Views in England and Wales (Tate impressions: T04534, T04535); the latter has been compared with a ‘colour beginning’ (Tate D25132; Turner Bequest CCLXIII 10). However, there are no other sketches in this book, apparently in use in Yorkshire in the late summer of 1816 (see the Introduction), to suggest that he used it outside the county at that time.
Finberg 1909, I, p.382.
See David Hill, In Turner’s Footsteps: Through the Hills and Dales of Northern England, London 1984, pp.84–5.
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.367 no.581, reproduced.
Ibid., p.393 no.803, reproduced.

Matthew Imms
July 2014

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘Figures, Probably on the Moors near Farnley Hall 1816 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, July 2014, 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-figures-probably-on-the-moors-near-farnley-hall-r1147415, accessed 23 February 2020.