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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Verses (Inscription by Turner) c.1808

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 12 Recto:
Verses (Inscription by Turner) circa 1808
Turner Bequest CII 12
Inscribed by Turner in ink on white wove paper, 76 x 115 mm
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘12’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CII 12’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
For the longer draft poems to which Turner’s verses belong, see Introduction to the sketchbook, and notes to folios 10 verso, 11 and 11 verso (D06740, D06741, D06742) which have variants of these lines on James Thomson, poet of the Seasons (1730). Finberg did not transcribe the verses on this leaf and the reading given here was first made by Rosalind Mallord Turner for the 1990 Tate exhibition:
O Season’s fair bedeck the Shrine
of him who made the Seasons shine
O Seasons fair guard Thomson shrine
He made the charms of Seasons shine
With watery may – his bays intwine
While Phebus dart his raident line
In Mid-day glare and sultry time
High then the Coral shell then fill
with distant Thames translucent rill
While Summers breeze his lyre yet fills
with memory sweet and truest thrills

David Blayney Brown
March 2006

How to cite

David Blayney Brown, ‘Verses (Inscription by Turner) c.1808 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, March 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-verses-inscription-by-turner-r1130836, accessed 21 June 2024.