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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner List of Patrons, Works and Prices; Addresses (Inscriptions by Turner) c.1808-9

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 1 Recto:
List of Patrons, Works and Prices; Addresses (Inscriptions by Turner) circa 1808–9
Turner Bequest CII 1
Inscribed by Turner in pencil and ink (see main catalogue entry) on white wove paper, 76 x 115 mm
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘1’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CII 1’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
The list of patrons, works and prices is written in pencil and ink on the left half of the leaf, running vertically, as follows:
Sir Willm Forbes        29 ½     Storm 
Parliament Square       22 ½     lightning 
Edinbro’                                   Ruins 
Ed. Swinburn, Esqr      40 Gn     Grenoble 
Sir Thos Gage           10 Gs 
Ed. Lascelles.          Fort Rock.       60 G 
Ld. Essex.              Cashiobury.      40 
Duke of Argyle.         Inverary Castle. 60 
The prices for these items would fit watercolours rather than oils. Not all are identifiable. Sir William Forbes is probably the Edinburgh banker (1739–1806) but the two or three works alongside his name are unknown. Edward Swinburne is presumably the elder (1765–1847), a friend of Turner and mutual friend of Walter Fawkes, whose various commissions and purchases from Turner are listed on folio 53 of the sketchbook (D06824) and inside the back cover (D40668). However, while Swinburne seems to have commissioned other work from Turner including versions of Rhine subjects owned by Fawkes, in 1820, there is no record of his having owned an earlier Grenoble subject. However, Turner made a watercolour, Grenoble Bridge for Charles Holford in 1824 (Baltimore Museum of Art, Maryland)1 and perhaps Swinburne had once proposed something similar for himself.
Sir Thomas Gage may be the botanist (1781–1820) but his payment or purchase is unidentified. Edward Lascelles senior (1740–1820) and junior (1764–1814) were important early patrons, especially of Turner’s watercolours. Hill identifies ‘Fort Rock’ as Mont Blanc, from Fort Roch, in the Val d’Aosta (private collection)2 and Turner’s note of it as the ‘last record of Lascelles patronage’; Andrew Wilton dates this watercolour as ‘?1804’ or ‘perhaps nearer 1810’, the latter year being surely preferable although Eric Shanes has more recently dated it around 1814 on comparison with The Battle of Fort Rock, Val d’Aouste, Piedmont, 1796 (Tate D04900; Turner Bequest LXXX G), perhaps its intended companion.3 However, Mont Blanc seems never to have belonged to either Lascelles and was bought instead by Fawkes, their friend and neighbour in Wharfedale. That Fawkes had taken over the commission is evident from its apparent inclusion in the Fawkes list on folio 53 as ‘Armistice Rock’ (indicating its status as a view of the scene during the Peace of Amiens in 1802). This list probably dates from 1809–10. Turner’s clear insistence on its peacetime theme suggests that he already envisaged the wartime version, and perhaps the idea was developed with Fawkes. If so, Fawkes did not buy The Battle of Fort Rock and it remained on Turner’s hands after being shown at the Royal Academy in 1815. The 5th Earl of Essex, who as Viscount Malden probably introduced Turner to the younger Lascelles, commissioned four or more watercolours4 of his Hertfordshire estate, Cassiobury Park. These originated from a visit to Cassiobury in 1807; for further comment see Sketchbook and Drawings Connected with Cassiobury Park and Harvest Pictures for the Earl of Essex circa 1707–12. The 5th Duke of Argyll commissioned Loch Fyne with Inverary Castle in the Distance (private collection).5 Wilton dates this watercolour 1802–5 but its listing here might argue for a later date.
The pencil notes on this leaf are addresses in London or the Thames Valley:
T.G. at Mr. Wilson. Swan.
Arundel St. Strand.
Freehold Cottage, 80, 120, 300.
Warborough. ½ a mile
Of Thame and Thames
of Road Turnpike. 30 King St
Golden Square.

David Blayney Brown
March 2007

Andrew Wilton, The Life and Work of J.M.W. Turner, Fribourg 1979, p.345, no.404
Ibid., p.341, no.369
Eric Shanes, ‘Identifying Turner’s Chamonix Water-Colours’, The Burlington Magazine, vol.142, no.1172, p.693.
Wilton 1979, p.320 nos.187–92.
Ibid., p.339 no.349.

How to cite

David Blayney Brown, ‘List of Patrons, Works and Prices; Addresses (Inscriptions by Turner) c.1808–9 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, March 2007, 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-list-of-patrons-works-and-prices-addresses-inscriptions-by-r1130814, accessed 21 June 2024.