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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

North Wales Sketchbook 1798

Turner Bequest XXXIX 1–96
Sketchbook bound in boards covered in calf leather with gold tool borders and spine; two broken brass clasps
97 leaves of white wove writing paper, buff laid wrapping paper, and white laid printing paper washed with a pink ground; page size 266 x 170 mm; writing paper watermarked ‘1794 | J Whatman’; laid paper with a cross in a chain, ‘T DUPUY | AUVERGNE’ and ‘1742’
Numbered 145 as part of the Turner Schedule in 1854, and endorsed by the executors of the Turner Bequest on recto of front flyleaf (see main catalogue entry)
Inscribed by Arthur Mayger Hind with notes on rebinding (see main catalogue entry)
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
This is one of the five sketchbooks that Turner took with him to Wales in 1798, and used concurrently, though intermittently, with the Hereford Court book (Tate; Turner Bequest XXXVIII). The others are the Dynevor Castle, Cyfarthfa and Swans books (Tate; Turner Bequest XL, XLI, XLII). Although he was furiously industrious throughout this long and thorough exploration of Wales, he oddly made little use of this book, and a large proportion of the leaves are blank. With the exception of a small number of coloured studies, the majority of sketches are slight, and most are now very difficult to identify; others duplicate subjects that appear in more elaborate form in the Hereford Court book.
Finberg records ‘Turner’s label on back’, presumably in ink on paper attached to the spine as usual, but since lost, as reading ‘37, North Wales 2’.1
The blank recto of the front flyleaf bears the 1854 schedule number and endorsement of the executors of the Turner Bequest, Henry Scott Trimmer, Charles Lock Eastlake and John Prescott Knight in ink ‘No 145 | H. S. Trimmer’ and in pencil ‘C.L.E.’ and JPK’ at top centre. Below this, A.M. Hind has made notes on the book’s restoration in 1934 (see Technical notes).
Finberg 1909, I, p.89.

Andrew Wilton
May 2013

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How to cite

Andrew Wilton, ‘North Wales Sketchbook 1798’, sketchbook, May 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/north-wales-sketchbook-r1173580, accessed 24 September 2021.