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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner The Skeleton of an Animal c.1806-10

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 5 Recto:
The Skeleton of an Animal circa 1806–10
Turner Bequest XCI 5
Pencil and white chalk on cream wove paper, prepared with a buff wash, 128 x 201 mm
Inscribed by ?John Ruskin in black ink ‘5’ bottom left, descending vertically
Stamped in black ‘XCI 5’ bottom left, descending vertically
Blind-stamped with the Turner Bequest monogram, lower right of centre
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
According to John Ruskin, this sketch of a skeleton and another on folio 6 of the sketchbook (D05623) were ‘used in the “Liber Studiorum” plate of the “Devil’s Bridge”’ – that is, Little Devil’s Bridge ... engraved by Charles Turner in 1809 (for Turner’s drawing for it, see Tate D08123; Turner Bequest CXVI V). However, the resemblance is probably coincidental and, in the context of the sketchbook, the most likely subject is the remains of a sheep on the Downs or Romney Marsh.
The paper is discoloured from exposure.
Blank, but inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘185’; traces of paper from a former mount, with red ink marks, are stuck to this side of the leaf.

David Blayney Brown
March 2011

How to cite

David Blayney Brown, ‘The Skeleton of an Animal c.1806–10 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, March 2011, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, December 2012, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-the-skeleton-of-an-animal-r1130932, accessed 27 November 2021.