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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Study of an Aspen 1799

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 46 Recto:
Study of an Aspen 1799
Turner Bequest XLVI 46
Pencil on white wove paper, 130 x 79 mm
Inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘Aspen Root’ bottom centre
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘46’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘XLVI – 46’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
The tree’s root is studied separately at the bottom right. This and the drawings on the verso and folios 47 recto and 48 recto (D02063–D02064, D02066), bear some resemblance to studies of trees in the Swans sketchbook (Tate D01691–D01694; Turner Bequest XLII 16–17, 18–19), which was in use about the same time; those drawings are usually considered to have been made on the estate at Fonthill in Wiltshire in 1799.
There is no evidence to suggest that the present book was in use at Fonthill, but the copies after Nicolas Poussin (1594–1665) on folios 114 verso and 118 recto (D02165, D02172), show that he had it in his pocket in London, where those pictures were exhibited, and not just on his 1799 tour of Lancashire and North Wales.

Andrew Wilton
May 2013

How to cite

Andrew Wilton, ‘Study of an Aspen 1799 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, May 2013, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, April 2016, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-study-of-an-aspen-r1179921, accessed 23 January 2022.