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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner The Roots and Trunks of a Group of Trees; Inscription by Turner: Song Lyrics 1798-9

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 70 Recto:
The Roots and Trunks of a Group of Trees; Inscription by Turner: Song Lyrics 1798–9
D01815
Turner Bequest XLII 139
Pencil, pen and ink, watercolour and gouache on buff laid paper, 174 x 125 mm
Inscribed by Turner in ink with lines of verse (see main catalogue entry)
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘139’ top left, upside down
Stamped in black ‘XLII – 139’ top left, upside down
 
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation, the drawing is continued on folio 69 verso opposite (D01814; Turner Bequest XLII 138). It was possibly made in the grounds of Fonthill, where Turner was working on a commission from William Beckford in 1799; see the entry for folio 68 verso (D01812; Turner Bequest XLII 136).
Also inverted, lines of verse inscribed in pen and ink take up the bottom third of the page:
The voyage that had been long and hard
But that had yeilded [sic] full reward
That Brought each Sailor to his friend
Happy and rich was at an end
When Jack his toils and perils o’er
Beheld his Nancy on the shore
Then as his bacco he display’d
And cry and seized the charming maid
This is a continuation from the verso of this leaf (D01816; Turner Bequest XLII 140); for other pages of lyrics towards the end of this sketchbook, see the entry for the inside of the back cover (D41426).

Andrew Wilton
March 2013

How to cite

Andrew Wilton, ‘The Roots and Trunks of a Group of Trees; Inscription by Turner: Song Lyrics 1798–9 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, April 2015, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-the-roots-and-trunks-of-a-group-of-trees-inscription-by-r1174010, accessed 30 November 2020.