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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Studies for Classical Compositions c.1822-3

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 26 Verso
Studies for Classical Compositions c.1822–3
Turner Bequest CCII 26 a
Pencil on paper, 257 x 178 mm
Blind-stamped with Turner Bequest monogram top left (relative to foliation)
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
With the sketchbook turned upside down relative to the foliation, Turner has divided the sheet to accommodate what appears to be three separate pencil sketches of classical compositions: two occupy the bottom register and one large drawing stretches across the middle and into the upper register.
The sketch at the bottom left seems to depict shipping, Turner using a form of pictorial shorthand to summarise the barest forms of the vessels in a few simple lines. To the right of this is a more elaborate sketch: an arched bridge connects the right side of the composition peopled by a small assemblage of figures to the left where a tall tree stands. Above both of these drawings is a large composition featuring a number of arched monuments, buildings, columns, trees, and figures which indicate a classical city of some sort.

Alice Rylance-Watson
March 2013

How to cite

Alice Rylance-Watson, ‘Studies for Classical Compositions c.1822–3 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, March 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-studies-for-classical-compositions-r1148317, accessed 27 May 2024.