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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Studies, Probably for 'Dido Directing the Equipment of the Fleet' c.1827-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Studies, Probably for ‘Dido Directing the Equipment of the Fleet’ c.1827–8
D25523
Turner Bequest CCLXIII a 8
Pencil on white wove paper, 366 x 226 mm
Watermark ‘Lane & Co | 1825’
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
The upper half of this sheet contains two slight studies of classical architecture, trees and shipping which probably relate to the large painting Dido Directing the Equipment of the Fleet, or The Morning of the Carthaginian Empire, exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1828 (Tate N00506);1 see the Introduction to this subsection for the subject and other studies.
Despite the lack of precise correlation with the finished design, the association is made here on the basis that the sheet Turner used is a printed circular (confined to the other side, Tate D40314) dated to November 1827 and sent to him through the post; the painting was shown in the following spring and was presumably being planned at this time. Compare the more detailed studies on the back of an exactly contemporary letter, numbered consecutively with this one in Finberg’s 1909 Inventory (D25522; Turner Bequest CCLXIII a 7).
1
Butlin and Joll 1984, pp.149–50 no.241, pl.243.
Technical notes:
The drawings are somewhat rubbed and darkened, and there are numerous small incidental nicks and tears, as well as a small hole at the top centre where the sheet, a letter as noted above, was opened at its seal, the remains of which are evident at the corresponding point above the bottom edge.

Matthew Imms
July 2016

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘Studies, Probably for ‘Dido Directing the Equipment of the Fleet’ c.1827–8 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, July 2016, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, March 2017, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-studies-probably-for-dido-directing-the-equipment-of-the-r1185825, accessed 24 September 2021.