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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Inscription by Turner: Royal Academy Accounts c.1823-4

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 6 Recto:
Inscription by Turner: Royal Academy Accounts c.1823–4
D17844
Turner Bequest CCV 6
Ink on white wove paper, 162 x 98 mm
Inscribed by Turner in ink with accounts (see main catalogue entry)
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘6’ top right, ascending vertically
Stamped in black ‘CCV – 6’ top right, ascending vertically
 
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
The following accounts1 in pounds, shillings and pence take up the whole page, turned vertically:
1819              One quarter from Xs 1818. to L day 1819
         Salaries
        Officers                              120    0     0
     S K of Lib to ‘Sc.’                 37  10
School of Paint. . .                      50
   Proff –                                     240
Life Vist . .                                  75  12
M Mod –                                     11  15  6
Female –                                     16    8  6    119 .9  3½
W and Beer –                               1 3 6
Incidental Ex  –                         14 9 9½
  _________
House Keeper –    17 10
Gratuity  –               2  10  – 21 . 0  0
Cranmer                                   13   2  6    57   5
Strowger                                  13    2  6
Lavel                                        10    0  0
yearly Keeper allowance Candles – 10 10
_________________________________________
Lady D to Mids                           incidental Ex [...] H 1817
Keeper –       40                               20
S                    35     120                  Vaughn [Astn]   40   14
T                    25                           allow to Porter       7   16
Lib                 20                           Gratuity to Hous   5     5
allow Sec      –     37 – 10
Freebairne.   17.10 –   3 10.}
Cr                 13  2  .   6           }57  5
S                   13      2   6         }
L                   10                      }
The accounts continue across to folio 5 verso opposite (D17843), as transcribed here:2
Midsummer to Michaels
                                          School of Painting –    33 – 12 –
40                        Visitor Life                      49    7
35                        M Mod                               8. 0
25                        F M      –––                        7. 9
20.  – 120           Wine and Beer                  1  2
all      37.10        Incident Ex                        18.10  3½
              [...]
Porters. C   13  2  6  }  To Vaughan for paying Pension 6.6.
Str               13  2  6  }
Lavel          10  0  0  } 84  8 3½
Brom.           6  7  0  }
Freebrn H. 17 10| 21}
Gratuity.      3 10|
____________________________________________
    To Xmas  .   19  . Genl Assembly –  63 .    0}  121.10
K.    40  |                  Council                   58     10}
Sec. 35 |120            Professor A 60
T      25 |
Lib   20 |
allow    37.10      ..   Painting School    25 . 4
House H Visitors Attendance Life {50 . 8
    21  0  0  Man Mod –                       {22   0  0
                   F  M                                   {  6  12
C 13  2  6  Wine and Beer    95.8.    {   2    5
S  13 2  6   incidental   _______       {13 15 8
L  10 :   .| 67.5} Strowger Grat.|
B  10 .   .| 15   }____________| Vaughan   . 30
                1823                              Exhibn        47   11 6
[?Print] Ex of Exh[...] as to H[...] 77 11 6
Committee    56   9   9}
  H   .      .         19        } 61   9   7              Council. 119   14
Mrs Freebairne for Ex attnce11 11
Cuff  – Wine                           24. 12. 116 12 10 Total 945.3.5
Allown to Porter                       9
Emans for Refreshmts            10 . 3 –
Most of the abbreviations are fairly self-explanatory in the context of regular Royal Academy business. Having been elected a full Royal Academician in 1802, Turner had been Professor of Perspective since 1807. He served on the Council in several years, including 1819 and 1820, and was an annual Auditor of Accounts between 1824 and 1829, as well as undertaking a variety of other duties during his Academy career.3 After publishing Turner’s notes in his 1909 Turner Inventory, Finberg made manuscript transcriptions from the five relevant passages of Academy accounts, audited respectively on 12 July 1819, 24 April 1820, 20 October 1819, 5 May 1820, and 13 November 1823;4 Turner signed the first three as a member of the Council.
Finberg’s transcriptions provide a little extra information and full names. The rather telegraphic line concerning £37 10 shillings concerns the ‘Allnce. for House Rent, Coals, &c, to [the] Keeper’. Turner himself was among the four ‘Proff’s who each received £60 for courses of six lectures. ‘Life Vist’ indicates attendance by the Academicians at the Life Class, where the models were supplied with wine and beer. The porters’ full names were Charles Cranmer and Samuel Strowger; Francis Lavel and Thomas Bromhead were their assistants. The housekeeper was Elizabeth Freebairne. ‘Professor A’ indicates Anthony Carlisle, the Professor of Anatomy. J.F. Cuff and P. Emans had provided wine and refreshments.
Finberg has observed that Turner’s notes show ‘how seriously’ he took his duties,5 while James Hamilton has suggested that Turner’s ‘innate attention to detail’ and ‘financial caution’ were assets to the Academy.6 Although most of the accounts relate to 1818–19, the last section was signed off in November 1823, as noted above. The notes appear to be have all been made at the same time, and are tentatively dated here to the latter year or a little later, in line with the rest of the sketchbook, but why Turner should have gone into detail for the earlier periods is unclear; it may have been for reference in connection with his being first elected as an Auditor at the General Assembly of 10 December 1823.7
For other notes on Academy business in 1819, see the Aesacus and Hesperie sketchbook (Tate D13810, D13812; Turner Bequest CLXIX 39, 40).

Matthew Imms
December 2014

1
Based on transcription in Finberg 1909, I, p.620, with minor variations.
2
Based on transcription, ibid., p.621, with minor variations.
3
See the listing in Eric Shanes, ‘Royal Academy of Arts, London’ in Evelyn Joll, Martin Butlin and Luke Herrmann (eds.), The Oxford Companion to J.M.W. Turner, Oxford 2001, pp.271–2.
4
Undated MS transcriptions in Finberg’s own interleaved copy of Finberg 1909, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, vol.I, facing pp.620 and 621.
5
Finberg 1961, p.282.
6
Hamilton 1997, p.210.
7
See Finberg 1961, p.282.

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘Inscription by Turner: Royal Academy Accounts c.1823–4 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, December 2014, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, April 2015, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-inscription-by-turner-royal-academy-accounts-r1172555, accessed 22 May 2024.