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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Inscription by W.B. Cooke: Notes Concerning Projected Rhine Subjects 1819

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 7 Recto:
Inscription by W.B. Cooke: Notes Concerning Projected Rhine Subjects 1819
Turner Bequest CLXIX 7
Pencil on white wove paper, 87 x 119 mm
Inscribed by W.B. Cooke in pencil (see main catalogue entry)
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘7’ bottom right (faint and smudged)
Stamped in black ‘CLXIX – 7’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
The whole page is taken up with the following inscription:
to pay Mr Ackermann in the | Work of the Rhine to the value | of 40£ – Mr Ackerman promising | to suppress his publication of | the Rhine and becomes responsible | for the Drawings made for him | shall not be sold to any one | for the purpose of publishing | until 3 or 4 Numbers of
This passage continues on the verso of the present leaf (D13764) and concludes on folio 8 recto (D13765). For clarity, the rest of the text is also transcribed here:
[D13764:] our Work are out. If Mr | Skeutz [sic] should produce a work from | the above drawings which Mr A agrees | to stop the publishing of, then nothing to be | paid of the forty pounds. If Mr Ackermann | can have [‘an’ inserted above] additional 5 per cent | from Mr Murray [‘or the same as Murray’ inserted above] arrangements he will urge | the work. Mr A to be paid by numbers | of the work when published.
[D13765:] Mr Gerning to have an equivalent | for his notes for the 24 drawings | to the value of 30L: Dg Mr | A agreed to give him 10 numbers | at about 3L per number the | map now on the road £6
Cecilia Powell points out that the notes on the present page are in the handwriting of the engraver and publisher William Bernard Cooke (1778–1855),1 who worked with Turner on a number of engraving projects;2 the first few words on D13764, concluding the last sentence here, also seem to be his.
Turner’s initial agreement with Cooke and the engraver J.C. Allen for the delivery of ‘Thirty Six Drawings on the Rhine’ to be engraved is dated 9 February 1819.3 The project was abandoned as Rudolph Ackermann published his 1819–20 series of engravings A Picturesque Tour along the Rhine, from Mentz to Cologne (also issued as a book in 1820), with engravings after M. Schütz and an English translation of Baron von Gerning’s 1818 text.4 The wording of the present draft is aimed at delaying Ackermann’s rival publication, but clearly came to nothing;5 Cecilia Powell suggests that it was composed before Turner left for Italy at the end of July 1819, ahead of Ackermann’s first press advertisements in August 1819.6
A list of Turner’s potential Rhine subjects appears on folio 35 recto (D13804), with what appear to be related notes on folio 36 verso (D13806).

Matthew Imms
September 2013

See Gillian Forrester, ‘Cook, William Bernard’ in Evelyn Joll, Martin Butlin and Luke Herrmann (eds.), The Oxford Companion to J.M.W. Turner, Oxford 2001, p.63.
See Powell 1991, p.59 note 64; and Powell 1995, p.77 note 57.
Transcribed in full in John Ruskin’s Dilecta: see E.T. Cook and Alexander Wedderburn (eds.), Library Edition: The Works of John Ruskin: Volume XXXV: Præterita; and Dilecta, London 1908, pp.595–6; and in Powell 1991, p.35.
See Powell 1991, p.36; and Powell 1995, p.28.
See Finberg 1961, pp.[256]–7, Gage 1980, p.74, Powell 1991, p.36, Powell 1995, pp.28–9, and Krauze 1997, p.132.
See Powell 1991, pp.36, 59 note 64; and a slightly revised account in Powell 1995, pp.28–9, 77 note 56.

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘Inscription by W.B. Cooke: Notes Concerning Projected Rhine Subjects 1819 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, September 2013, 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-inscription-by-wb-cooke-notes-concerning-projected-rhine-r1147486, accessed 29 January 2020.