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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner List of Proposed Pictures (Inscription by Turner) c.1812-13

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 4 Recto:
List of Proposed Pictures (Inscription by Turner) c.1812–13
Turner Bequest CXXIX 4
Pencil on white wove paper, 110 x 178 mm
Inscribed by Turner in pencil (see main catalogue entry)
Trace of inscription by ?John Ruskin in red ink ‘4 [?]’ bottom right
Stamped in brown ‘CXXIX 4’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner’s list reads:
1 Snow Storm
2 Snow on the ground
3 Do with Sun shine
4 Tempest P done
5 Cart with timber
  at Rawdon
6 Moonlight
7 Lancaster Sands
8 Grouse Shooting
9 Partridge do
10 Woodcock
11 Coursing
12 Ice
Three of these subjects can be identified with confidence, four more speculatively, but the remaining five are mysterious. It seems likely that the list is a statement of intent, probably for work during the winter of 1812–13, but only partially realised.
Works that can be confidently identified are as follows:
‘7 Lancaster Sands’ is the watercolour Lancaster Sands (Birmingham City Art Gallery)1 painted for Walter Fawkes of Farnley Hall. This has been variously dated by scholars; c.1818 by Andrew Wilton2 and James Hamilton,3 ?c.1814–15 by David Hill, Stanley Warburton and Mary Tussey,4 and c.1816 by the present writer independently.5 Its appearance here certainly suggests its conception, if not necessarily its execution, dates from 1812–13.
‘8 Grouse Shooting’ is the watercolour of Grouse Shooting (Wallace Collection, London) painted for Sir William Pilkington of Stanley Chevet, Wakefield.6
‘10 Woodcock’ is the companion watercolour, Woodcock Shooting on the Chevin (also Wallace Collection) made for the same patron and dated 1813.7 This is based on the sketch on folio 47 verso in this sketchbook (D09123).
Those for which identifications might be suggested are as follows:
‘1 Snow Storm’ could be the painting Snow Storm: Hannibal and his Army Crossing the Alps (Tate N00490)8 exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1812. Tempting as this identification might seem, it presents some problems for the dating of the list to 1812, since there is no indication that the picture was ‘done’ as with no.4 in the list (see the following).
‘4. Tempest P done’ is possibly the painting The Wreck of a Transport Ship (Fundaçao Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon) 9 although as this seems to have bought by the Hon. Charles Pelham in 1810, quite why it should have been included in this list evidently of later works remains unclear.
‘2. Snow on the ground, 3. Do With Sun shine, 5. Cart with Timber at Rawdon, and 12 Ice’. These titles are unidentifiable but indicate Turner thinking of similar subjects to the oil painting Frosty Morning (Tate N00492)10 exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1813. Since Walter Thornbury published the testimony of Turner’s friend H.S. Trimmer in 186211 this has been thought to be a Yorkshire subject, probably in the neighbourhood of Farnley Hall. Rawdon lies between Leeds and Farnley..
‘6 Moonlight’ is possibly (but more remotely) the watercolour Lake of Brienz, Moonlight (private collection),12 painted for Walter Fawkes.
Andrew Wilton, The Life and Work of J.M.W. Turner, Fribourg 1979, p.367 no. 581.
James Hamilton, Turner’s Britain, exhibition catalogue, Gas Hall, Birmingham Museums &Art Gallery 2003, p.119 reproduced pl.95.
Hill, Warburton and Tussey 1980, p.58.
David Hill, In Turner’s Footsteps, London 1984, p.84.
Wilton 1979, p.361 no.535.
Ibid., p.361 no.534, as ‘Woodcock shooting on the Chiver’ and ‘executed for Sir Henry Pilkington’..
Butlin and Joll 1984, pp.88–90 no.126, pl.131.
Ibid., pp.128–9 no.210, pl.213.
Ibid., pp.90–1 no.127, pl.132.
Walter Thornbury, The Life of J.M.W. Turner, R.A. Founded on Letters and Papers Furnished by his Friends and Fellow-Academicians, London 1862 [1861], vol.I, pp.170–1.
Wilton 1979, p.342 no.374.

David Hill
October 2008

How to cite

David Hill, ‘List of Proposed Pictures (Inscription by Turner) c.1812–13 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, October 2008, 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-list-of-proposed-pictures-inscription-by-turner-r1146785, accessed 23 June 2024.