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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner The 'Victory': From Quarterdeck to Poop 1805

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
The ‘Victory’: From Quarterdeck to Poop 1805
Vaughan Bequest CXXI S
Pencil, pen and ink and watercolour on white wove paper, 424 x 565 mm
Inscribed and signed by Turner in ink ‘Quarter deck of the Victory. J M W Turner’ bottom right, ‘Guns 12 lbs used in the ports mark’d x’ lower centre and ‘x’ beneath seven of the gun ports beneath the poop deck. Also inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘Splinter hitting mark’d | in pencil | 9 Inch thick’ top right and ‘x Rail shot away during the | action’ middle right. Further inscribed by a later hand in pencil on the mount (see main catalogue text)
Stamped in black ‘CXXI S’ bottom right
Watermarked ‘1793’
Bequeathed by Henry Vaughan 1900
?Dr Thomas Monro
?Samuel Rogers
One of two large studies of the deck of the Victory; for the other see Tate D08243; Turner Bequest CXX c. Like most of the sketches in the Nelson sketchbook (Tate D05446–D05490; D40701–D40705; D41427; Turner Bequest LXXXIX) these were made when the Victory had returned from the Battle of Trafalgar and was at Long Reach off Sheerness; see Introduction to the sketchbook for her movements. Like the other large drawing, this one must have been made before 1 January 1806 when de-rigging began as some rigging and the mizzen mast are still in place. The view is from the port side of the quarterdeck towards the poop deck. Captain Hardy’s cabin is shown knocked out for refit, which also gives some idea of how the ship appeared when cleared for battle, with the cabin partitions struck down. As well as the splinter marks and damaged rail, Turner’s annotations indicate (correctly) the twelve-pound capacity of the guns that would then have been installed, the cabin windows becoming extra ports, although these guns have been removed together with those on the quarterdeck. The guns on the poop deck remain in place.
Like the other large drawing, the sheet bears evidence of having been folded several times. Unlike it, however, it was worked over more carefully in pen, ink and watercolour, perhaps as a gift to Turner’s early mentor Dr Monro (died 1833) to whom it apparently belonged, as well as to his friend and patron Samuel Rogers (died 1855) before passing into the collection of Henry Vaughan. The drawing is laid on a grey mount with red ink lines and inscriptions by a later hand in pencil, stating ‘Dr. Monro’s Colln | S. Rogers’ Clln’ bottom left, and otherwise mainly repeating Turner’s own notes; ‘Quarter Deck of the Victory. J.M.W. Turner | Guns 12 lb used in the Ports marked ‘x’ | paper mark 1793. Picture painted in 1808’ bottom centre, and ‘Splinter Hitting marks in pencil | 9 inches thick | Rail shot away during the action’ bottom right.
Laid down.

David Blayney Brown
April 2006

How to cite

David Blayney Brown, ‘The ‘Victory’: From Quarterdeck to Poop 1805 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, April 2006, 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-victory-from-quarterdeck-to-poop-r1139292, accessed 21 May 2024.