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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Inscription by Turner: A Scale Marked in Inches 1817

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Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 1 Verso:
Inscription by Turner: A Scale Marked in Inches 1817
Pencil on white wove paper, 232 x 328 mm
Inscribed by Turner in pencil with vertical strokes at one inch (25.4 mm) intervals, the last marked ‘8’, with a further half-inch interval marked ‘½’, across top left and top centre
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
This makeshift ruler is not mentioned in Finberg’s Turner Bequest Inventory.1 The left-hand, outer edge of the page serves as the beginning of the scale, and there is a further isolated mark near the gutter a little lower down, measuring twelve inches (a foot or 305 mm) from the left-hand edge. These measurements were perhaps used to gauge or check the dimensions of drawings in progress on separate sheets.
See A.J. Finberg, A Complete Inventory of the Drawings of the Turner Bequest, London 1909, vol.I, p.447.
Technical notes:
Across the lower half of the sheet there is some scattered watercolour offsetting from the half-completed composition on folio 2 recto opposite (D12263).

Matthew Imms
February 2010

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘Inscription by Turner: A Scale Marked in Inches 1817 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, February 2010, 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-inscription-by-turner-a-scale-marked-in-inches-r1139454, accessed 20 July 2018.