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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Stanzas Referring to Jonathan Wathen Phipps and Baroness Howe (Inscription by Turner) c.1812-13

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 6 Verso:
Stanzas Referring to Jonathan Wathen Phipps and Baroness Howe (Inscription by Turner) c.1812–13
D09066
Turner Bequest CXXIX 6a
Pencil on white wove paper, 110 x 178 mm
Inscribed by Turner in pencil with verse (see main catalogue entry)
Watermarked ‘WHAT]MAN | [180]5’
 
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Written from right to left down the page, as if written working from the back of the sketchbook, and continued from folio 7 recto (D09067) opposite, Turner’s inscription reads:
‘Twas the Oculist’s hope
In the Grotto of Pope
To retire yet still to lie on
Lie still from practice from prying and peeping
But the nymph [?] of the Grotto lay in not sleeping [?]
So Eneus    so   dido ...
The ... the ...
Twas the Oculist’s hope
In the Grotto of Pope
To desist and dein to [probe?] or to peep
From the practice of living from prying and peeping
To relinquish the
         Lie still both from practice of probing or peeping
To E[neas] returned
And dido [accused?]
The practice and practice eased
In ... ing[?] Howe deep
That ... ing[?] dogs leap
Twas the Oculist hope
In the Grotto of Pope
To lie still and desist from [deleted] ere to probe or to peep
So Eneas returned
^But And Dido required
Both practice and practical ease’1
Here Turner continues to develop his meditations on the theme of the relationship between Jonathan Wathen Phipps, oculist to George III, and Baroness Howe of Pope’s Villa, Twickenham, who were married in October 1812; see notes to inside front cover of the sketchbook (D40818). Here as on D09067, Turner struggles to compare their scandalous relationship with that of Dido and Aeneas, trying ever harder to make his quip work. However, metre and sense are both proving reluctant muses.

David Hill
October 2008

1
The transcription here is indebted to, but differs in some respects from that offered by Rosalind Mallord Turner in Wilton and Mallord Turner 1990.

How to cite

David Hill, ‘Stanzas Referring to Jonathan Wathen Phipps and Baroness Howe (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-stanzas-referring-to-jonathan-wathen-phipps-and-baroness-r1146788, accessed 21 June 2024.