Byron’s Europe: Frontispiece; Gibraltar

This the third instalment of a tour through the Illustrations to the Life and Works of Lord Byron published between 1832 and 1834.  Here we look at the image chosen to serve as the frontispiece to the whole series, a view of Gibraltar by Turner. Splendid as it certainly is, its relationship with Byron’s Life … Continue reading Byron’s Europe: Frontispiece; Gibraltar

Minster Group: an introduction

This is a group of four watercolours, two of subjects in Margate, and another two views at Minster, a few miles inland. Turner is thought to have attended school in Margate at the beginning of his teenage years. The group is undoubtedly juvenile work. The colouring is rather thin and the drawing slightly wobbly and … Continue reading Minster Group: an introduction

St John’s Church, Margate, Kent, c.1788

Pen, ink and watercolour on paper, 12 1/8 x 17 1/8 ins, 308 x 435 mm Private Collection Turner catalogues: Wilton 1; tdb 147 This is one of a series of four very early watercolours all sharing the same provenance, evidently having been gifted by Turner's mother to a Jane Hunt of London who married … Continue reading St John’s Church, Margate, Kent, c.1788

A street in Margate, looking down to the harbour, c.1788

Pen ink and watercolour on paper, 10 5/8 x 16 ins, 270 x 407 mm Private Collection Turner catalogues; Wilton 2; tdb 148 This is one of a series of four watercolours all sharing the same provenance, evidently having been gifted by Turner's mother to a Jane Hunt of London who married James Taylor of … Continue reading A street in Margate, looking down to the harbour, c.1788

Minster Church, Isle of Thanet, Kent, c.1788

Pen, ink and watercolour on paper, 12 x 16 3/4 ins, 305 x 426 mm Inscribed in watercolour over the porch '1574' Private Collection Turner catalogues: Wilton no.3; tdb149 This is one of a series of four watercolours, two of Margate and two of Minster, all sharing the same provenance, evidently having been gifted by … Continue reading Minster Church, Isle of Thanet, Kent, c.1788

Distant View of Minster, Isle of Thanet, Kent, c.1788

Pen, ink and watercolour, 10 7/8 x 14 7/8 ins, 276 x 378 mm Private Collection Turner catalogues: Wilton no.4; tdb 150; This is one of a series of four watercolours, two of Margate and two of Minster, all sharing the same provenance, evidently having been gifted by Turner's mother to a Jane Hunt of … Continue reading Distant View of Minster, Isle of Thanet, Kent, c.1788

The Pocket Magazine: an introduction

Turner made sixteen watercolours for 'The Pocket Magazine, or Elegant Repository of Useful and Entertaining Literature', published by Harrison & Co of Paternoster Row, London in monthly parts, from no.1 for August 1794. The monthly parts were published in arrears, so that for August appeared in September, and so on. Pocket Magazine, No.1, August 1794Photograph … Continue reading The Pocket Magazine: an introduction

1817 Tour to Belgium, Rhine and the Netherlands: Introduction

Following the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, the continent of Europe gradually opened up to British Travellers. Apart from the brief peace of Amiens in 1802 it had been closed by the Napoleonic Wars during Turner’s entire career. He would have liked to go to Italy, but was prevented from going abroad at all in … Continue reading 1817 Tour to Belgium, Rhine and the Netherlands: Introduction

Tower of London, c.1794

Pencil and watercolour, 70 x 115 mm,   2 3/4 x 4 1/2 ins, mounted in the artist's original washline border. Inscribed lower right, "Turner" and on label, 'Tower of London by Turner RA/ presented by him to Flaxman the Sculptor and purchased at his sale' and 'Purchased at Grundy sale Oct/87 No.134'. Sterling and Francine … Continue reading Tower of London, c.1794

Rhine Series: an introduction

Introduction This series of fifty-one watercolours depicts subjects on the river Rhine between Cologne and Mainz. The traditional story of their origin was related by Walter Thornbury in his Life of J.M.W.Turner published in 1862: Walter Thornbury, Life of J.M.W.Turner R.A,, 1862 vol.2, p.86 They remained together at Farnley until 27 June 1890 when thirty-five … Continue reading Rhine Series: an introduction