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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner ?Liverpool 1831

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 52 Recto:
?Liverpool 1831
Turner Bequest CCLXV 52
Pencil on white wove paper, 59 x 96 mm
Inscribed in red ink by John Ruskin ‘52’ top left inverted
Stamped in black ‘CCLXV 52’ top left inverted
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
The four sketches on this page are some of a handful sketches (often three or four to a page) scattered throughout this sketchbook that show a view of a large town from across a river or estuary (see folio 3 verso; D25648). These have been likened in style, and in the appearance of several buildings, to a double-page sketch of Liverpool in the Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border sketchbook (Tate D25773–D25774; Turner Bequest CCLXVI 6a–7). Although no particular buildings have been identified in the sketches on the present page, the general appearance of the town with its church spires, windmills and docks, is very similar to the other Liverpool sketches.
The towered building at the left of the bottom sketch does bear a resemblance to the Signal Tower at Leith, perhaps depicted on folio 21 (D25678), though, on balance, Liverpool remains to the present author a more convincing possibility.

Thomas Ardill
May 2010

How to cite

Thomas Ardill, ‘?Liverpool 1831 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, May 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-liverpool-r1134099, accessed 28 January 2022.