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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Scarborough 2 Sketchbook c.1816–18

Turner Bequest CLI
Sketchbook, bound in card covered in blue and pink marbled paper printed with text titled ‘Lives of the Evangelists’
Eighteen leaves of white wove paper from two makers, Richard Barnard of Eyehorne Mill, Kent and John Fellows of Eynsford Mill, in the same county
Watermarked, respectively, ‘FELLOWS 1811’ and ‘R BARNARD 1812’
Approximate page size 182 x 116 mm
Inscribed by Turner in ink ‘99’ on a label on the spine (D40708), and ‘Scarborough’ towards top edge of front cover (D40709)
Endorsed by the Executors of the Turner Bequest in ink ‘No. 169’; signed by Henry Scott Trimmer in ink ‘H. S. Trimmer’ and by Charles Turner in ink ‘C. Turner’ and initialled by Charles Lock Eastlake in pencil ‘C.L.E’ by John Prescott Knight ‘J.P.K’ inside front cover (D40710), where also inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘5 taken out JR’
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
This sketchbook was used in conjunction with the Scarborough 1 and The Aqueduct sketchbooks (Tate D11914–D11951; D40706–D40707; Turner Bequest CL and Tate D11974–D11994; D40712–D40714; Turner Bequest CLII) on a visit to Scarborough on the north Yorkshire coast, before travelling on to Farnley Hall, the Yorkshire home of Turner’s patron Walter Fawkes.
It contains two main sequences of sketches. The first eight folios explore the cliffs and shore south of Scarborough, gathering material that resulted in a finished watercolour, Scarborough (private collection)1 dated 1818. The next seven folios record an excursion down the Weaponness Valley at Scarborough beginning at a viewpoint about a half-mile south-west of the present railway station and proceeding to the south shore. The remaining folios record subjects at Malton and at Crambe Beck Bridge between Malton and York, made on the way to Farnley Hall, as proven by one sketch of Hawksworth Moor (D11973; Turner Bequest CLI 18a). The Scarborough 1 sketchbook also contains sketches in the Weaponness Valley area (beginning on Tate D11940; Turner Bequest CL 21) and there is another in the Devonshire Rivers 3, Yorkshire, Wharfedale sketchbook (Tate D09866; Turner Bequest CXXXIV 65). All these might have been made on the same visit, and even during the same excursion. The journey between Malton and York is taken up from the beginning of The Aqueduct sketchbook.
The most definitive piece of evidence for dating is the 1818 inscription on the finished watercolour of Scarborough, which provides the latest possible date for the visit. Finberg dated the book to c.1816–18 and this seems reasonable on grounds of style. In the 1980 York exhibition the tour was dated to 1815, but on no certain account. The present writer has since (1999) preferred 1816, on the basis the sketches were almost certainly taken for Turner’s proposed series of illustrations for Thomas Dunham Whitaker’s projected seven-volume General History of the County of York.2 Turner made extensive tours in Yorkshire in 1816 to gather material for the project and all the material with a probable Whitaker connection could be datable to that year in the absence of any compelling alternative. The Devonshire Rivers 3, Yorkshire, Wharfedale sketchbook contains sketches at Scarborough, for example Tate D09866; Turner Bequest CXXXIV 65 which appears to be contiguous with those in the present book and in Scarborough 1.
Andrew Wilton, The Life and Work of J.M.W. Turner, Fribourg 1979, p.360 no.529.
The full story of the commission is given by David Hill, In Turner’s Footsteps: Through the Hills and Dales of Northern England, London 1984.
A concordance follows:
Folio numberTate accession numberTurner Bequest (Finberg) number
Inside Front CoverD40710
I rectoD11952CLI 1
2 rectoD11953CLI 2
3 rectoD11954CLI 3
4 rectoD11955CLI 4
5 rectoD11956CLI 5
5 versoD11957CLI 5a
6 rectoD11958CLI 6
7 rectoD11970CLI 17
7 versoD11971CLI 17a
8 rectoD11959CLI 7
9 rectoD11972CLI 18
9 versoD11973CLI 18a
10 rectoD11961CLI 9
11 rectoD11960CLI 8
12 rectoD11962CLI 10
13 rectoD11963CLI 11
13 versoD11964CLI 11a
14 rectoD11965CLI 12
15 rectoD11966CLI 13
16 rectoD11967CLI 14
17 rectoD11968CLI 15
18 rectoD11969CLI 16
Inside Back CoverD40711

David Hill
September 2008

Revised by David Blayney Brown
March 2014

View as:

How to cite

David Hill, ‘Scarborough 2 Sketchbook c.1816–18’, sketchbook, September 2008, revised by David Blayney Brown, March 2014, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, September 2014, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/scarborough-2-sketchbook-r1146971, accessed 21 May 2024.