THE BRITISH ARTISTS SERIES
J. M. W. TURNER
J. M. W. Turner
W. L. Wyllie, A.R.A
George Bell and Sons
CHISWICK PRESS t CHARLES WHITTINGHAM AND CO.
TOOKS COURT, CHANCERY LANE, LONDON.
WHEN asked by Messrs. Bell to write "The Life
of Turner " for their Series of " British Artists," I
at first refused, for my ideas flow but slowly, and I have
not the pen of a ready writer. Moreover, the only time
I can spare for literary work is after the light has failed
for painting. On being again pressed I agreed to under-
take the task, mainly influenced by my admiration for
the work of the inimitable poet-painter who has been
my study and delight since boyhood.
The first thing to be done was to read all the books
on the subject. To my consternation I soon found that
at least seven lives of Turner had already been pub-
lished. Later, in my search among the sketch-books
stowed away in the basement of the National Gallery,
I met a gentleman engaged on yet another exhaustive
What chance has my little book against so many by
professional writers? How can I expect to put down
anything that has not been better said before?
My only hope is that, being a painter, I may look at
Turner's life and work from a point of view different
from that of a literary man. Gilbert Hamerton, it is
true, did draw a little, but his books were very much
better than his pictures. An artist should be better able
to distinguish and note the influences and beauties, the
difficulties and limitations of another artist's work, than
a critic or a teller of tales.
I have tried to describe the masterpieces of Turner
as they appear to a fellow painter travelling, however
remotely, along the same road.
The biographical facts are mostly gleaned from that
confused tangle of oft-told anecdote and exaggerated
description compiled by Walter Thornbury in 1861. I
have sorted and arranged these scattered scraps of his-
tory in chronological order to the best of my ability.
The task was not an easy one, but night after night
as I went slowly through the trials and triumphs of
Turner, the uncouth old wizard, with his rough manners
and tender heart, somehow became more and more real
to me, until at last he seemed a friend that I had known
all my life.
If I can only paint ^the man and his works for my
reader as clearly as they stand before me, my labour of
love will not have been in vain.
W. L. WYLLIE.
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
COLOUR PLATES T0 FACE
ULYSSES DERIDING POLYPHEMUS 80
THE "FIGHTING TEMERAIRE," TUGGED TO HER LAST
BERTH TO BE BROKEN UP, 1838 Il8
PORTRAIT OF TURNER , i
ST. MARY'S, REDCLIFFE (1814) 6
MARINE STUDY 12
STUDIES OF A SHIPWRECK, No. i. (In the Text) . . 19
Do. Do. No. 2. . 20
Do. Do. No. 3. 21
Do. Do. No. 4. . 22
DURHAM CATHEDRAL 26
CALAIS PIER (1803) 34
A SHIPWRECK (1805) 36
STUDY THE PILOT BOAT 38
HOLY ISLAND CATHEDRAL 40
MORPETH (1809) 42
GREENWICH (1811) .46
PETWORTH PARK (1810) . V-- . . . .48
COAST OF YORKSHIRE (181 1 ) . . . . -50
viii LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
CHICHESTER CANAL 52
OIL SKETCH DEVONSHIRE .54
FROSTY MORNING (1813) . .... 56
SAINT GOTHARD (1815) 58
CROSSING THE BROOK (1815) 60
LA GRANDE CHARTREUSE (1816) 60
DIDO BUILDING CARTHAGE (1815) . . . . 62
THE FELUCCA (1819) 62
ROME FROM THE VATICAN (1820) 64
ROME: BASILICA OF CONSTANTINE AND COLISSEUM
BAY OF BAIAE (1823) 68
CAREW CASTLE, PEMBROKE (1824) .... 70
FORT PITT, CHATHAM (1827) 72
BOLTON ABBEY (1826) 74
COWES, ISLE OF WIGHT (1827 TO 1838) ... 76
MALVERN ABBEY AND GATE (1827 TO 1838) . . .78
TIVOLI (1830) 80
CALIGULA'S PALACE (1831) 84
SKETCH FOR A CLASSIC PICTURE 86
STONEHENGE (1827 TO 1838) 88
NORHAM CASTLE 88
LANDING OF WILLIAM OF ORANGE (1832) . . . 90
CHILDE HAROLD'S PILGRIMAGE (ITALY, 1832) . . 92
ORLEANS (1833) 92
ROUEN CATHEDRAL (1833) 94
THE DUCAL PALACE AND CANAL (1833) ... 96
SANTA MARIA DELLA SALUTE (VENICE, 1835) . . 98
COLOGNE CATHEDRAL (1834) 100
BELLINZONA . 102
WlNDERMERE, WESTMORELAND (1838) . . 106
ORIGINAL SKETCH FOR DUDLEY CASTLE . . .108
LIST OF ILLUSTRATION S ix
CASTLE OF ST. ANGELO (1834) . ... 112
MODERN ITALY (1838) 114
Ri ALTO (1840) 116
VESSELS IN A BREEZE 116
ST. MARK'S, THE DOGE'S PALACE AND MINT, VENICE
FALL OF THE TEES, YORKSHIRE (1827-1838) . . . 120
CRYPT, CANTERBURY .122
BURIAL OF WILKIE (1842) . . . . . . 124
SNOWSTORM (1842) . . ... . . 126
MER DE GLACE, CHAMONIX . . . . . . 128
RAIN, STEAM, AND SPEED (1844) . . . ; .132
FISHING BOATS IN A STIFF BREEZE OFF THE COAST . 142
TURNER'S PALETTE . . . . . . .144
J. M. W. TURNER
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
IN the year 1775 a barber lived in a dark little shop,
No. 26, Maiden Lane, standing on the left of Hand
Court, which lies close to the south-west corner of Covent
Garden. There was a gloomy, low archway, with an iron
gate, and coming out of the sunlight a stranger would
have to stand a moment in the dim light before he could
see the narrow door to the left which led into the hair-
dresser's shop. There was a window gay with both bob
and cauliflower wigs, the name over the door was Turner.
Mr. Turner was a cheerful little man, spare and mus-
cular, with small blue eyes, a hook nose, a projecting
chin, and a fresh, healthy complexion. He talked fast
with a rather transatlantic twang, but always had a smile
upon his face. The barber had come to London in early
life from South Molton, in Devonshire, and had married
a lady named Mallord or Marshall, who lived in the
village of Islington. The barber's wife had pale blue eyes,
an aquiline nose, and a slight fall to her lower lip. Her
hair was well frizzed, and she wore a cap, with large
flappers. Report said the little woman had a terrible
temper and led her husband a sad life. She held herself
very erect, and her aspect was rather masculine.
2 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
Dr. Shand, author of "Gallops in the Antipodes," claims
Mrs. Turner as first cousin to his grandmother, so we
may suppose that she came from a rather superior class.
On Saint George's Day, the 23rd of April, a boy was
born to this worthy couple, and on the I4th of May the
child was baptised in the parish church of St. Paul,
Covent Garden, and given the name of Joseph Mallord
William Turner. The surroundings were not calculated,
one would say, to breed and foster a great genius. The
house was dark and small, the windows long and low, the
narrow stairs were steep and winding, the rooms low-
pitched and confined, and if we are to believe Mr.
Duroveray, the barber lived most of his time in the
cellar under his shop. The district round about was
theatrical, and these were the days of the great David
Garrick. There was also the studio of a society of artists
opposite, in what had once been "the Cider Cellar."
Maiden Lane had seen better days, and men of note had
lived in it. Archbishop Sancroft, in the days when he
was Dean of York ; Andrew Marvell, on a poor second
floor, and Voltaire also spent three years at the sign of
the " White Perruke."
Leaving the lane, and looking out at the London of
that day, one cannot say that the moment was propitious
for the appearance of the most splendid painter of land-
scape that the world has seen. Portrait art was at its
highest pitch. Reynolds was working in Leicester Square,
and Gainsborough, who had left Bath the year before,
had taken a house in Pall Mall. Both held levees where
the rank and fashion met, the beauties in powdered
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER 3
toupees, hoops, high-heeled shoes, the men in short pig-
tails and striped silk knee breeches. West was paint-
ing classical subjects for King George III, and Wilson
was neglected by all except Paul Sandby, the fashion-
able drawing master. Hogarth had been dead eleven
Except for portraiture, English Art was either with-
out life, insipid or classic, or a monstrous and indelicate
caricature. The so-called humorous mezzotints which
have come down to us show what wretched stuff our
forefathers were content to gaze at in the shop windows,
or bring home for the amusement of their families.
Utterly without drawing or proportion, light and shade,
or perspective, these hideous representations of the vices
and follies of the time, often obscene, never suggesting a
graceful thought or a beautiful line, bear witness to the
coarseness of taste in 1775.
Turning to literature, Richardson, Sterne, Gray,
Smollett, and Goldsmith were dead ; but Dr. Johnson,
Burke, Sheridan, Thomson, and Cowper, were writing;
Robert Burns was just growing up at Alloway, and
Walter Scott about four years old.
Captain Cook was homeward bound, having been away
three years on his wonderful voyage. Napoleon was seven
years old, and Wellington six, Talleyrand twenty-one,
Catherine of Russia and Frederick the Great were en-
gaged in the partition of Poland.
The English government of that day had treated the
colonies of America in a very high-handed and tyran-
nical fashion and four days before the birth of Turner
4 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
a British force, marching to seize some arms and powder,
was attacked, and thus began the unfortunate and need-
less war, which lost us the fairest parts of the new world,
and the sturdy Anglo-Saxon settlers, who would have
been loyal to the old country had they only been dealt
There is a story of a visit paid by Turner when about
five years old to a house in Carburton Street, where lived
a silversmith with a taste for art, who pried about and
bought drawings cheap. The boy went with his father,
who called to curl Mr. Tompkinson's hair. Whilst the
frizzing and powdering proceeded, a rampant lion em-
blazoned on a silver salver attracted the child's fancy,
and, when at home once more in Maiden Lane, he took
pencil and paper, and drew from memory the very lion.
A son of Stothard remembers that his father in early life
went to the shop to get his hair cut, and the old man
remarked to him in conversation, " My son, sir, is going
to be a painter." A year or two later we hear that small
water-colour drawings, copied by the boy from Sandby's,
used to hang round the entrance door, ticketed at prices
varying from one to three shillings. Years afterwards,
Mr. Trimmer and Turner were looking over some prints.
Turner took up one of them, a mezzotint of a Vander-
veld, an upright, a ship running before the wind, and
said with emotion, " Ah, that made me a painter! "
In 1785 the boy was sent to a day school kept by a
Mr. John White, near the " Three Pigeons," at Brentford
Butts. There were fifty boys and ten girls. He boarded
with an uncle of his mother's, a butcher, called Marshall.
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER 5
An old schoolfellow tells how young Turner drew birds
and flowers from the windows. Many of these early
sketches, says Bell, were taken by stealth. Afterwards
he went to the Soho Academy, and studied under a
Mr. Palice, a floral drawing master.
At thirteen he was short and thickset, his face hand-
some, but with large features of a Jewish type, clear
gray-blue eyes and arched eyebrows ; a boy careless of
dress, but sturdy and determined.
His father now sent William to a third school, kept
by a Mr. Coleman at Margate, and the journey was
made in a hoy, a bluff-bowed cutter-rigged craft, with a
long bowsprit and heavy main boom. One can fancy the
joy of this trip to such a boy. The Pool crowded with
countless colliers, Indiamen, and barges; the Royal
Dockyards of Deptford and Woolwich, where the new
line of battleships stood building on the slips; Greenwich
Hospital and Park, with picturesque pensioners sitting
in the sun ; the marshy flats on which the malefactors
hung in chains; then the winding river spreading out
into the yellow sandbanks and choppy waters of the
Queen's channel; and, lastly, the open sea, with the
chalk cliffs of Thanet shining clear and bright in the
Turner was not a mere home-bred boy, knowing
nothing of the water, for he had often been boating and
sketching on the Thames with his friend Girtin. With
what a quick eye he must have noted the rippling waves,
the changing lights playing on the ever-moving land-
scape, the pale blue hills, which showed up so faintly on
6 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
the horizon, slowly taking shape and colour as the stout
old packet worked its way down the crowded waterway
everything new and wonderfully strange.
Thornbury speaks of this as a blundering, miserable
journey; but to Turner it must have been unalloyed
bliss. Margate was then a quiet little seaside village ; and
here the boy met many pleasant people, and to the very
end of his life, he always had an affection for the white
cliffs and broad sands of this bright little port.
As time went on the genius began to turn a penny.
There was a rage for illustrated topographical works,
and these soon gave artists employment far more con-
genial than the insolent patronage that had been meted
out in this age of artifice and conventionality. There
seems to have been some work in colouring engravings.
The two boys, Turner and Girtin, went often on the
river, or out into the fields towards Hampstead. The
country was quite close to Maiden Lane. There were
haystacks in Osnaburg Street, and in the New Road
turnstiles and meadows. Where Harley Street now is
Whitefield preached in the fields, and there was a farm
behind Russell Street.
Turner also paid visits to Bristol, and stayed with a
Mr. Harraway, an old friend of his father's, a great fish-
monger and glue boiler. Many of the drawings he made
and gave to his host are still extant.
He sketched Clifton many times, and there is a view
of Oxford of about the same date. There is also a por-
trait of himself painted during one of the visits to Mr.
Harraway. The face is said to be " weakly drawn, simple,
ST. MARY REDCLIFFE, BRISTOL, 1814
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER 7
and boyish; the long, luxuriant, curling hair streams
down upon his shoulders and frilled jacket; and the
nostrils and mouth are delicately traced with careful-
ness, indeed, that amounts to timidity." (Thornbury.)
This little portrait, in its black-wood frame, used to
belong to Ruskin. It represents a boy of fifteen. He
painted the two Harraway children and also his friend
He is known to have attended a school in St. Mar-
tin's Lane, where the Academician, Paul Sandby, taught
drawing. Soon the clever boy busied himself up in
his bedroom colouring prints for a printseller. He was
also employed in touching up amateurs' drawings, and
adding skies and backgrounds to architects' designs. To
Mr. Thomas Malton, in Long Acre, he was indebted for
his knowledge of perspective, and in after life Turner
always spoke of his master with hearty commenda-
Mr. Duroveray possessed a drawing after the manner
of Sandby, signed " W. Turner," which he bought from
the window in Maiden Lane. Others of the pale wash
imitations of the same artist, were purchased by Mr.
Crowle to adorn the splendid illustrated copy of Pen-
nant's " London," in seventeen volumes, now in the print-
room of the British Museum.
Porden, an architect, who in after years built the
Brighton Pavilion for the Prince Regent, also gave work
to the young artist, who painted gravel walks, blue skies,
grass tufts, and patches of dock round the Corinthian
mansions. At last Porden came to Hand Court, propos-
8 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
ing to take young Turner as an apprentice without a
premium ; but the old barber, who saw that money was
coming in from his son's earnings, refused the generous
Dr. Munro, mad-doctor to George III, was also at-
tracted by the drawings in the barber's window, and
though one would hardly call the prices munificent, still
the lad was earning a living, and doing credit to his
The father now arranged with Mr. Hardwick, an archi-
tect, that the boy should go to his office, and much of
the work he then did survives. In a sketch of Wanstead
Church, built by his master, we are told the sky is finely
treated. Hardwick also had some drawings of the same
date of Isleworth and Lambeth, with the river and
About 1789 Turner became a student of the Royal
Academy. As a proof of fitness he had to submit a
drawing of a Greek statue in chalk, and was then ad-
mitted as a probationer to make three more drawings
within the walls of Somerset House another Greek
figure; an outline of the same, showing all the muscles;
and last, a skeleton in the same attitude as the chalk
These, accepted by his judges, entitled him to a
" bone " or ticket of admission to the schools, good for
seven years and marked with his name. No doubt
Turner stippled, and rubbed out, and altered, and worried
at the impossible renderings of the calm and classic
features of Discobolus and Germanicus, and, listening to
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER 9
the noises in the streets outside, watched the clouds fly-
ing across the narrow slit of blue sky to be seen from
Somerset House, wishing himself miles away, out on
the breezy hill-top, or the glistening river, just as thou-
sands of Academy students have done ever since. No
doubt the work was tiresome and monotonous, as it is
to all of us; but there is not the least justification for
Ruskin's remarks on the teaching of the Academy
schools: "It taught Turner nothing, not even the one
thing it might have done the mechanical process of
safe oil painting, safe vehicles and permanent colours.
Turner from the beginning was led into constrained,
unnatural error. Diligently debarred from every ordinary
help to success, the one thing which the Academy ought
to have taught him (barring the simple and safe use of
oil colour) it never taught him; but it carefully repressed
his perceptions of truth, his capacities of invention, and
his tendencies of choice. For him it was impossible
to do right but in a spirit of defiance; and the first
condition of his progress in learning was the power to
In spite of Ruskin there can be no question but that
working from the antique must have been a great help
to Turner at this time of his life. The work he did for
architects must also have taught him a great deal, and
later on he showed how well he had learned the lesson.
The end of the eighteenth century was, as I have before
remarked, a most depressing time as far as taste was
concerned. It was quite impossible for Turner to rise at
once above his surroundings. Ruskin has written pages
io LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
in abuse of this age of darkness, lamenting that Turner
should have been surrounded by all the classic influences
which made him the man we know and reverence. To
suppose that such a genius could have risen without
teaching and hard work is absurd. Turner learned all
that his age had to teach him, and then went on to
better things. It is no use now our trying to fancy what
he might have been had his impulses been turned to the
" Gothic fields of imagination."
Once when Sir Joshua Reynolds was lecturing to a
great crowd in Somerset House, the floor suddenly gave
way causing a dreadful panic. Sir Joshua alone re-
mained unmoved. When asked what were his thoughts
at that terrible moment, his reply was, u I was thinking
that if we all perished, the art of England would have
been thrown back five hundred years." He little thought
that Turner, the young student standing beside him,
would have been the greatest loss of all.
About this period Turner was allowed to copy two of
Reynolds's wonderful portraits. Perhaps he might have
turned towards the one branch of the arts which was
really alive and flourishing at this time, had it not been
for the death of the Great Master, who, one day in July,
whilst painting a portrait of Lady Beauchamp, found
his eyes beginning to fail. Putting down his pallet and
brushes he said, " I know that all things on earth must
come to an end, and now I have come to mine."
Soon after this his remains were laid in state in Somer-
set House, the room all draped with black cloth.
Turner's portrait of himself at the age of seventeen,
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER n
now in the National Gallery, shows that he had learnt
a great deal from the great portrait painter.
According to a catalogue of Turner's works at the
Royal Academy, published by Boone in 1857, the first
exhibited picture was Dover Castle -, assigned to 1787,
when the boy would be but twelve years old. There is
also a drawing of Wanstead mentioned. It seems, how-
ever, that both these works were by another painter of
the same name, and that the very first water-colour sent
by J. M. W. Turner to the Royal Academy was a view
of the Archbishop's Palace at Lambeth, with Westminster
Bridge beyond. It was only 14 x 10, and was exhibited
in 1790. All this time Turner continued to colour prints
and wash in skies for architects. When, in after life, his
friends expressed wonder at his having thus worked at
half-a-crown a night, he used to say, " Well ! and what
could be better practice?" An old architect told Thorn-
bury he had often paid the boy a guinea for putting in
a background, calling for that purpose at his father's
shop in Maiden Lane. On no occasion was he allowed
to see Turner draw, and all he did was concealed in his
Turner at this time, says Mr. Lovell Reeve, was a
short, sturdy, sailor-like youth, endowed with a vigorous
constitution, and inured to hard beds and simple fare.
He used to tramp the country with his baggage tied up in
a handkerchief, sketching as he went. One of his first
tours was to Oxford, to execute some commissions for
his patron, Mr. Henderson. A poor artist, named Cooke,
walked with him until his feet got sore and he was left
12 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
behind whilst the indefatigable Turner walked on. As
for sleeping, any humble village public-house at which
he could obtain shelter was good enough for him.
When he was at school at Margate, Turner had formed
an acquaintance with the family of one of the boys, and
to his schoolfellow's sister he soon became attached.
We may suppose that in some of his walking tours he
revisited the Isle of Thanet, and at last he became en-
gaged. When he went away Turner left his sweetheart
a portrait of himself, and promised to write often.
But the months followed each other, and no letters
came. Turner was working hard in London, or wander-
ing about England, painting its beauties and making
a name for himself. The poor girl, made wretched
by a stepmother, who, it appears, intercepted all the
letters, waited on with no news from her lover, except
the scraps of records in the newspapers describing his
pictures. Two years rolled by, and another lover came
to press his suit, when, believing herself forsaken, and
unable any longer to resist the chance of disengaging
herself from her stepmother's persecution, she at last
yielded to her suitor's importunities. The day for
the marriage was fixed and everything prepared, when
within a week of the appointed day, Turner suddenly
arrived from a distant tour. He had written constantly,
and though he had received no replies, his faith had
remained unshaken. One can only imagine what these
two poor creatures said to each other; but the lady,
reckoning her honour involved, felt that it was then too
late, and Turner in bitter grief left her, vowing he would
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER 13
never marry. The union, which took place a few days
afterwards, proved most unhappy, and thus did the
wickedness of a bad woman spoil two lives.
The young artist never recovered from this disappoint-
ment, and was for ever afterwards dwelling on the loss
he had sustained. That he loved this lady there can be
no doubt. The misery of his whole scathed life, and the
constant dwelling on these sad words, " the Fallacies of
Hope," are fully sufficient to prove that. He gradually
began to change, and became self-concentrated and
reserved ; more fond of money and at the same time his
passionate devotion to his art became intensified.
Mr. Bell, an engraver, left some notes of his introduc-
tion to Turner in 1795, and says that he stood by in the
little room in Maiden Lane while the artist made his first
attempt in oil from a sketch in crayon, which had been
taken on the previous day, of a sunset on the river at
Battersea. The boat in which the drawing was made had
grounded whilst the work was going on, and had only
been floated again with great labour. He also describes
a larger picture of fishing boats in a gale off the Needles.
Bell went on a tour with Turner which lasted six weeks.
They went to Margate, Canterbury, Rochester, and here
we meet another story of the first oil picture, which is
now said to have been painted in the parsonage at Foots
Cray. It represented the Norman Keep of Rochester,
with fishermen pulling their boats ashore in a storm.
The picture was in the style of De Loutherbourg, care-
fully but thinly painted, so much so that the oil had
made the colour run down the picture. I think there
i 4 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
must have been some mistake about both these stones,
and that Turner painted in oil some time before. The
portrait of himself proves that he was by no means a
beginner in that medium, even when he was only seven-
teen. On one of his tours the thrifty young artist is
reported to have lived for five days on a guinea.
The mad-doctor Munro, of Adelphi Terrace, used to
ask Turner and Girtin to his house, where in the winter
evenings they had to do an hour or two sketching and
colouring for half-a-crown each and supper. The doctor's
rooms were full of pictures. A Wild Landscape, by Sal-
vator Rosa; The Condemnation of Hainan by Rembrandt;
a Gainsborough; A Man leading Horses ; a Snuyders;
and many others. There were also fat portfolios, full of
Canaletti drawings, De Loutherbourgs, Hearnes, Sand-
bys, and Cozens all sorts of subjects Neapolitan coasts,
Swiss views, Kentish scenes, castles and cathedrals in
blue and India ink, Italian buildings in black chalk,
cottages from the river on blue paper heightened with
white, together with pen washed bistre, and pen-and-ink
drawings by Ostade, Paul Potter, Vandervelde, and
The half-crown drawings included a view of London
from Temple Gardens, Hadley Church, Willesden, ship-
ping in Dover Harbour, imitations of De Loutherbourg,
the ruins of the Savoy Palace, and a street in Dartford,
copied from a sketch. Mr. Henderson lived in the same
terrace, and here also the two lads met to draw and
copy as they did at their other patrons'. They copied
prints and engravings by Malton and Canaletti views of
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER 15
London, the Mansion House, St. George's, Hanover
Square, with a sedan chair passing, Dover with pigtailed
boatmen, Tintern, and subjects on the Thames, varied
from sketches by Mr. Henderson. It is said that in every
case the copies were better than the originals.
When Dr. Munro died, in 1833, Turner attended the
sale of his pictures and bought up a great many of his
own drawings. It is also said that the doctor once gave
Turner a commission for one hundred drawings, but that
rising artist abstained from executing it.
De Loutherbourg, the Polish noble, born in Strasburg,
who was paid 400 a year by David Garrick for painting
the scenery of Drury Lane Theatre, and famous for his
picture of Lord Howe's Victory, The Glorious First of
June, seems to have had a great influence on the young
It must not be supposed that all the drawings executed
about this time were as brilliant and full of colour and
light as the later water-colours painted by the master.
Colours, paper, and all that pertained to art, were very
primitive. In the beginning a picture of this sort was
little more than an outline, worked up and shaded with
india ink or bistre, and then washed over with faint tints
of blue, brown, yellow, green, and red. Whatever force
the drawing possessed was the result of the dark under-
washes of black tinted with transparent colour over it.
In many cases the sketches, though powerful in effect,
were very slight so far as colour was concerned, in fact
little more than monochrome. Any attempt to increase
the brilliancy of the drawings by leaving out the black
16 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
and painting in the shadows, frankly, with strong colour
seems to have been against the practice of the time. It
may be that the painters of the eighteenth century were
so accustomed to laying in their shadows with black or
dark brown, and working over with thin colour, that they
could not break themselves of the habit. It was not in
water-colour only that the shadows were colourless : the
oil-pictures had all of them the same peculiarity.
This early fashion of painting in water-colour is now
called the stained or tinted manner. It was only by small
degrees that Girtin and Turner could advance towards
the rendering of objects in their true colours. Step by
step, at first in a nervous, tentative fashion, they tried to
increase the brilliancy of the colour, perhaps hardly aware
what they were wishing for. Now and then one of them
would produce something quite different from the old
fashion with the black shadows but in the next draw-
ing the underwash would come again with all its old
It is very hard to break away from old ingrained
habits, and besides, the tinted monochrome must have
been a much more easy task than the complicated exer-
cise of thinking out a subject in colour, in tone, and
arrangement all at once. Who painted the first true
water-colour, in the present meaning of the word, I think
could not be determined at this moment. Paul Sandby
has been called the father of water-colour painting.
Girtin has also the credit, whilst Cozens and John Smith
are said to have produced, now and then, isolated ex-
amples of true water-colours. Turner, so far back as
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER 17
1787, did a clumsy, ill-drawn sketch, Nuneham Courtenay ;
now in the National Gallery. In it the features of the
landscape are depicted with heavy masses of colour with-
out a trace of the black underpainting, but as he was only
twelve years old at the time, it is quite possible that this
may be a bit of boyish impatience to rush on to colour
before the subject had been carried through to its com-
pletion in black or gray, as was the fashion in those days.
No doubt one of the reasons, for the long time that the
old-fashioned under-painting lasted, was the fact that a
great many of the drawings were painted expressly for
engraving purposes. Of course, it was very important
that the arrangement of the light and shade and com-
position should be carried to great perfection, whilst the
brilliancy of the colour was quite a minor consideration.
Any one who has tried to carry out a design in strong,
vivid colour, united to a powerful scheme of light and
shade, well knows the tremendous difficulties of such a
combination, and it is therefore not strange that Turner
should have gone on producing black pictures and draw-
ings in the stained fashion long after he had discovered
the secret of pure colour.
It seems that Turner gave lessons in painting about
this time, but it does not appear that he was very popular
with fashionable people. His manner was rough and odd,
and he often let his pupils paint on as they liked with-
An architectural draughtsman, whose name was Dayes,
thus describes Turner: " He may be considered a striking
instance of how much may be gained by industry (if
i8 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
accompanied by temperance) even without the assistance
of a master. The way he acquired his professional powers
was borrowing where he could a drawing or picture to
copy from, or by making a sketch of any one in the
Exhibition early in the morning and finishing it at home.
By such practices, and by patient perseverance, he has
overcome all the difficulties of the art ; so that the fine
taste and colour which his drawings possess are scarcely
to be found in any other, and are accompanied by a
broad, firm chiaroscuro and a light and elegant touch.
This man must be loved for his works, for his person is
not striking, nor his conversation brilliant."
In the Royal Academy of 1791 we find two drawings
by Turner, King John's Palace, Eltham; and Sweakley,
near Uxbridge. In 1792, Malmesbury Abbey (an interior
of the ruins with a man, a dog and some pigs), and a
sketch of The Pantheon , the morning after the fire. The
year following he had three drawings, A View on the
Avon, Bristol; which was hung in the ante-room, and
The Gate of St. Augustine's Monastery, Canterbury; also
The Rising Squall; and Hot Wells, from St. Vincent's
Rock. Perhaps these may have been painted when on a
visit to his friends, the Harraways, at Bristol.
In 1794, the time of the Reign of Terror in Paris,
he had five drawings in the Exhibition : A Fall on the
River Monach, Cardigan; Christchurch Gate, Canterbury;
Tintern Abbey; and St. Anselms Chapel, Canterbury.
The last was a sketch of the Porch of Great Malvern
Abbey. We may suppose it did not sell in the Academy,
and that Turner settled his frame-maker's bill with it,
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER 23
for there is a note to that effect on the back. He also
drew Rochester; and Chepstow ; for Walker's "Copper-
In 1 795, Turner made pictures of Nottingham; Bridg-
north; Matlock; and Birmingham; for the " Copperplate
Magazine," and the Tower of London for the " Pocket
Magazine." In the Academy there were five Turner
drawings: St. Hugh's Porch, Lincoln Cathedral; Mar-
ford Mill, Wrexham; West Entrance of Peterborough
Cathedral; The Transept of Tintern Abbey; The Welsh
Bridge, Shrewsbury; A View near the Devil's Bridge;
Choir in King's College Chapel, Cambridge; and Cathe-
dral Church, Lincoln. When Walter Thornbury wrote
his " Life of J. M. W. Turner," there were old people still
living who remembered Turner in the year 1795, when
he was twenty, and taught drawing in London, Hadley,
and other places. One of them described him as eccen-
tric, but kind and amusing. Thornbury says he was too
reserved and too tongue-tied to be able to teach what he
knew, even if he had cared to disclose his hard-earned
secrets. Blake, who was one of his pupils, complained of
being left quite alone. As to the methods of water-colour
painting, Ruskin has written pages about Turner's
sponging without friction, laying in the chief masses in
broad tints, never effacing anything, but working the
details over these broad tints. How he brought out the
soft lights with the point of a brush, and the brighter
ones with the end of a stick. That he had a wonderful
method of taking out high lights with bread, and damped,
soaked, and pumped on his paper, drew the broken edges
24 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
of clouds with a quiver of the brush, and lastly, dashed
in the warm touches of light.
Writing of colour, Ruskin says : " That Turner began
to introduce it with evident joyfulness and longing in his
rude and simple studies, just as a child, if it could be
supposed to govern itself by a fully developed intellect,
would cautiously, but with infinite pleasure, add now
and then a tiny dish of fruit or other dangerous luxury
to the simple order of its daily fare. Thus in the fore-
grounds of his most severe drawings we not unfre-
quently find him indulging in the luxury of a peacock.
A rainbow is another of his most frequently permitted
Next year he drew Chester; Leith; Peterborough;
Tunbridge; and Bath.
Thornbury says: "About 1795 the mode of working
water-colour began to change, monochrome being aban-
doned. The local colour was laid on at once on its proper
spot, and shadowed and tinted with graduated tones
varied by reflections."
In 1796 Turner exhibited eleven drawings: Fishermen
at Sea; Close Gate, Salisbury ; St. Erasmus in West-
minster Abbey, with Turner's name and "natus 1775," the
date of his birth, on a gravestone in the foreground. I
wonder if he ever thought he might be buried in the
Abbey? As a matter of fact he lies in St. Paul's.
Wolverhampton; Landilo Bridge; and Dynevor Castle;
A Cottage at Ely; Chale Farm, Isle of Wight; Llandaff
Cathedral; Waltham Abbey ; Interior of Ely Minster; and
the West Front of Bath Abbev.
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER 25
About 1797, Turner paid his first visit to Yorkshire,
and its beauties impressed him very much. The Wolds
were almost the first really wild scenery he had seen ;
and he always seems to have been tinged in after life
by recollections of the Yorkshire hills. Ruskin even
goes so far as to say that Turner always seized with
instant eagerness, and every appearance of contentment
on forms of mountain which are rounded into banks
above and cut into precipices below, as is the case in
most elevated tablelands in the chalk coteaux of the
Seine, the basalt borders of the Rhine and the lower
gorges of the Alps. And that Turner literally humbled
the grander Swiss mountains to make them resemble
the Yorkshire scaurs.
Further, Ruskin says, "The first instance, therefore, of
Turner's mountain drawing was from those shores of
Wharf which I believe he never could revisit without
tears; nay, which for all the latter part of his life he
never could speak of but his voice faltered." And then
" The scenery whose influence I can trace most definitely
throughout his works, varied as they are, is that of York-
shire. Of all his drawings, I think those of the Yorkshire
series have the most heart in them, the most affectionate,
simple, unwearied, serious finishing of truth. There is in
them little seeking after effect, but strong love of place;
little exhibition of the artist's own powers or peculiari-
ties, but intense appreciation of the smallest local
minutiae. ... I am in the habit of looking to the
Yorkshire drawings as indicating one of the culminating
points in Turner's career. In these he attained the high-
26 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
est degree of what he had up to that time attempted
namely, finish and quantity of form united with expres-
sion of atmosphere and light without colour. His early
drawings are singularly instructive in this definiteness
and simplicity of aim." This is Ruskin's description of
the journey: " At last fortune wills that the lad's true life
shall begin, and one summer's evening, after Turner's
wonderful stage-coach experiences on the north road,
which gave him a love for stage coaches ever after, he
finds himself sitting alone among the Yorkshire hills.
For the first time the silence of Nature around him, her
freedom sealed to him, her glory opened to him. Peace
at last and freedom at last and loveliness at last."
In 1797 four drawings were in the exhibition: Transept
of Ewenny Priory, Glamorganshire ; the Choir of Salis-
bury Cathedral; Ely Cathedral, South Transept; and the
North Porch of Salisbury Cathedral. In the same
Academy Turner had in oil, Moonlight; a study at Mill-
bank, a very faithful rendering of just such a scene as
may often be witnessed on a calm summer night. Be-
sides, there was a picture of Fishermen coming ashore at
Sunset previous to a Gale.
In this year Turner left Maiden Lane and took a
house in Hand Court, round the corner. Girtin was
living at 35, Drury Lane, and no doubt the two friends
saw a great deal of each other, for Turner had a great
admiration for the work of his chum. They seem to have
painted just the same sort of subjects, for we find the
titles of his drawings, St. Albans Church; two views of
Jedburg; two of St. Cuthberfs; Holy Island; views of
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER 27
York and of Ouse Bridge. Next year Turner exhibited
Morning among the Coniston Fells; a very poetic picture,
quite characteristic of what afterwards came to be recog-
nized as his own individual hills and clouds. With the
title was a quotation from Milton :
Ye mists and exhalations, that now rise
From hill, or steaming lake, dusky or gray,
Till the sun paint your fleecy skirts with gold
In honour of the world's great Author rise.
This picture (47x35) is now in the National Gallery.
Then Dunstanborough Castle, N.E. Coast of Northum-
berland; afterwards engraved in the "Liber Studio-
rum," and Winesdale, Yorkshire; an Autumnal morning.
Besides there were six water-colours: The Refectory
of Kirkstall Abbey, Yorkshire, engraved in Brittons'
"Architectural Antiquities," and also with variations in
the " Liber Studiorum," Norham Castle on the Tweed,
Summer's Morn; with a quotation from Thomson. This
drawing must have marked a turning point in Turner's
career, for years afterwards, when he was out with
Cadell, the Edinburgh bookseller, making sketches for
the " Provincial Antiquities," the artist suddenly took off
his hat and made a low bow to the ruins. " What the
devil are you about now?" "Oh," was the reply, "I
made a drawing or painting of Norham several years
since. It took; and from that day to this I have had as
much to do as my hands could execute." Turner was
fond of the subject, and used it to illustrate Scott's
"Tales of a Grandfather," and also with slight altera-
28 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
tions in the " Liber Studiorum." Besides the foregoing
there were Holy Island Cathedral, Northumberland; of
which there is is an engraving in the "Liber"; Amble-
side Mill, Westmoreland; The Dormitory and Transept of
Fountains Abbey Evening; with a quotation from Thom-
son ; and A Study in September of the Farm House, Mr.
Lock's Park) Mickleham, Surrey. What a roving time the
young painter must have had tramping the country with
his kit tied up in a handkerchief at the end of a stick!
He would sit down and sketch whatever took his fancy,
tramping on to the next striking view, or eating his
bread and cheese at a wayside inn. There are rooms full
of tin boxes loaded with his sketches in the National
Gallery. I have turned over some of his drawing-books
full of notes and outlines, scraps and memoranda, drawn
on both sides of the paper, some in black chalk and
others in white. In one or two the subjects cross each
other, or more often one view is spread right across
two sheets. Many of the books are now only empty
covers, for Ruskin has cut out the drawings to sort them
Now begins the first of his nine years of drawings for
the " Oxford Almanac." In the Academy of 1799 there
were five oil pictures: Fishermen becalmed, previous to a
Storm Twilight; Harlech Castle, from Twgwyn Ferry
Summer's evening, twilight; Battle of the Nile, at ten
o'clock, when " V Orient" blew up, from the station of the
gunboats, between the battery and Castle of Aboukir.
Immediate in a flame
But soon obscured with smoke, all heaven appear'd
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER 29
From those deep-throated engines belch'd, whose roar
Imbowell'd with outrageous noise the air,
And all her entrails tore, disgorging foul
Their devilish glut, chain'd thunderbolts and hail
Of iron globes.
MILTON'S Paradise Lost.
Buttermere Lake, with a part of Cromack Water, Cumber-
land a shower; now in the National Gallery. There
were also eight water-colours: Kilgerran Castle on the
Twyvey hazy sunrise previous to a sultry day; Sunny
Morning (the. cattle by S. Gilpin); Abergavenny Bridge,
Monmouthshire clearing up after a showery day; Salis-
bury Cathedral, inside of the Chapter House; West Front
of Salisbury Cathedral; Caernarvon Castle, Morning,
from Dr. Langhorris " Visions of Fancy "; Warkworth
Castle, Northumberland thunderstorm approaching at
In this year Turner was elected an Associate of the
Royal Academy. He also made a number of drawings
of Fonthill in Wiltshire, the so-called Abbey built by
Beckford, the alderman's son, at a cost of a quarter of a
million pounds. This voluptuous genius wrote the mar-
vellous Eastern tale of " Vathek " when he was twenty-
Another literary patron of the artist was Dr. Whitaker,
vicar of the parish of Whalley in Lancashire. This
archaeologist, who was writing a history of Richmond-
shire, employed Turner to make designs for the plates
which were to illustrate it. There is a letter written by a
Mr. Wilson, describing how he tried to settle a ludicrous
30 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
dispute between a Mr.Townley and Turner the draughts-
man. An old and very bad painting of Gawthorp, as it
stood in the last century, with its clipped yews and par-
terres, had been found. This he insisted would be more
characteristic than Turner's own sketch, which he asked
him to lay aside and copy the other. Turner, abhorring
the landscape, refused, and wrote very tragically on the
subject. Mr. Wilson said he tried to make a compromise,
which he feared would not succeed, as the painter had all
the irritability of youthful genius. The end of the affair
was that Turner kept his drawing, and the bad picture
was sent to be engraved.
I wonder what Dr. Whitaker, Mr. Wilson, and Mr.
Townley would have said had they been told that in
time to come the " History of Richmondshire," would be
bought at very fancy prices, not for antiquarian lore or
for the genealogy of county families, but only for the
plates of Turner the draughtsman.
In the Academy of 1800, besides Carnarvon Castle -,
North Wales; there were five "Views of the Gothic
Abbey now building at Fonthill, the seat of William
Beckford, Esqre," no doubt those that were painted the
year before. A well-known picture-dealer remembered
being down with Beckford when the three lunched
together in a tent on a spot selected by the artist. One
of the two oil pictures also belonged to the imaginative
writer of weird tales. The subject was typical of him :
The Fifth Plague of Egypt. And the Lord sent thunder
and hail and the fire ran along the ground. But the title
should have read the Seventh Plague. The last was
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER 31
Dolbadern Castle, North Wales; a mountain glen in the
style of Wilson. This is said to be the diploma picture,
but Turner was not elected Academician until two years
after. In December, this year, one Mary Turner, of St.
Paul's, Covent Garden, was admitted into Bethlehem
Hospital insane ; it seems likely that this was Turner's
Girtin was two years older than Turner, and seemed
to have got away from the fashion of painting everything
with black shadows rather sooner than Turner, who,
though he had a great admiration for his friend's brown
landscapes, continued to work himself in little more than
tinted monochrome. There is a story that a dealer, after
trying to bargain with Turner for some time, at last said:
" The picture 's too dear. I have a better one below that
cost less." " Have you? " said the artist. " Yes, I have,
in a fly at the door." Then said Turner, " If you have,
it is one of Tom Girtin's."
In 1801 there were four water-colours in the Academy.
London Autumnal Morning, a view from a hill looking
over the river towards St. Paul's and Westminster
Abbey; Pembroke Castle, South Wales thunderstorm
approaching; St. Donafs Castle, South Wales Summer
Evening; and The Chapter House, Salisbury. There were
two oil pictures of Turner's, The Army of the Medes de-
stroyed in the Desert by a Whirlwind, foretold by Jere-
miah; and Dutch Boats in a Gale fishermen endeavour-
ing to put their fish on board. A Mr. Caldwell wrote at
this time as follows : " A new artist has started up one
Turner. He had before exhibited stained drawings, but
32 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
now paints landscapes in oil, beats Loutherbourg and
every other artist all to nothing. A painter of my ac-
quaintance and a good judge declares his painting as
magic ; that it is worth every landscape painter's while
to make a pilgrimage to see and study his works."
The year 1802 saw Turner elected a full member of
the Academy, and Tom Girtin, showing symptoms of
consumption, was ordered to try a warmer climate. He
went to Paris in the spring, and there he painted a series
of drawings for the Duke of Bedford. In the autumn he
was back at home, and in November he died. Some un-
known person put up a monument to him in St. Paul's,
Covent Garden. Turner was much affected, and always
spoke of Poor Tom with deep feeling. A very fine collec-
tion of Girtin's and Turner's early work was given to the
print room of the British Museum by Henderson, for whom
the boys had worked in Adelphi Terrace years before.
In this year Turner moved to a house in Harley Street,
and as the Tory Government had put a tax on hair
powder some time before, wigs began to go out of
fashion. The dark shop was shut, and the little barber
gave up most of his trade. We learn that, years after-
wards, when Turner must have been very well off, the
old man used still to go up, at stated times, to dress
the wigs of a few of his old customers round Maiden
Lane who were faithful to the ancient fashion. The
father and son lived on very friendly terms together.
The elder strained the canvases, attended to the studio,
showed in visitors, and looked after the dinner, even if
he did not himself cook it.
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER 33
There was peace now with France, and Turner started
on his first Continental journey, landing at Calais from
the old sailing packet which at that time was the only
link between the two countries. Here he made the
studies for that wonderful picture we all know so well.
From there he pushed on to the wine country and Savoy,
and at last reached the Alps. What a tour this must
have been through the wonderland which had been so
long closed to Englishmen by the war. This year he
exhibited four pictures: Fishermen upon a Lee-shore in
Squally Weather; The Tenth Plague of Egypt, now in the
National Gallery; Ships bearing up for Anchorage, and
the/auwz, a dark Salvator Rosa-like picture, wonderfully
suggestive of horror. Also four water-colours, the fruits
of his journey to Scotland the year before: The Fall of
the Clyde, Lanarkshire noon (vide Akenside's " Hymn
to the Naiads ") ; Kilchurn Castle, with the Cruchan Ben
Mountains, Scotland noon. Hamerton gives many
pages descriptive of the real Kitchurn and writes a long
description of the differences between Turner and nature.
I daresay the artist only worked from a slight sketch,
and thus lost a great deal of the character of the place.
It must also be borne in mind that it was not the
fashion at this, time to make any attempt to paint
the real appearance of any scene. Edinburgh New
Town, Castle, etc., from the Water of Leith; Ben Lomond
Mountains, Scotland; The Traveller (vide Ossian's
"War of Caros"). We catch but one or two glimpses
of Turner on his travels. He told one fellow-traveller
that to mix oil with water-colours was dangerous, and
34 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
expressed his dislike of drawing with pens because they
were apt to sputter. He used to stick wafers on pictures
to show their faults, and preferred to spit in his powder
colours to damping them with water. At Boulogne he
was last seen in a boat, bobbing off the shore, drawing in
an anxious, absorbed way, and heedless of all else. In
1 803, Turner exhibited the great Calais Pier, with French
Poissards preparing for Sea, an English Packet arriving.
A wonderfully spirited composition, full of life and action.
We are told that this is a recollection of Vanderveld,
but if the subject was painted in imitation of the great
Dutchman, Turner certainly very much improved on his
forerunner. Vanderveld could never have painted any-
thing as grand as Calais Pier, any more than Salvator
Rosa could have outdone the Jason. Ruskin objects that
nobody is wet, but it must be borne in mind that realistic
treatment in a subject of this sort was never attempted
in the early part of the last century. No one ever tried
to paint such a scene just as it appeared in nature, and
why should Turner be expected to throw over all the
teaching of his time, to strive to present a literal tran-
script of nature? No one else thought of such a thing.
In portrait art the painters of the early nineteenth cen-
tury did mostly try to paint their sitters as they looked
in the still north light of the studio, but even then they
often put in an impossible background of forest or gar-
den, or perhaps, if the model were a sailor, a sea-fight,
but the lighting of the whole was that of a room with a
tall window. The sky was never brilliant, nor was it re-
flected in the foreshortened surfaces of the sitter's face.
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER 37
ing and languishing away, and the slighted Echo, sigh-
ing back his sighs, and answering sadly to the lovers'
"Ah! youth beloved in vain!" Narcissus cries;
"Ah! youth beloved in vain!" the Nymph replies,
"Farewell! " says he, the parting sound scarce fell
From his faint lips, but she replied, "Farewell!"
There was A View of Edinburgh from Calton Hill^ a
water-colour, and Boats carrying out Anchors and Cables
to Dutch Men-of- War, a Vanderveld sort of subject of
old-time ships. I have no doubt he continued to work as
hard as ever, constantly adding to his knowledge of
nature and observing everything. Engravings were pub-
lished of Inverary, Loch Lomond, Patterdale, Abingdon,
Newbury, Donnington Castle, and the inside of Brase-
nose College. It was mostly by these that he made his
In 1805, the year of Nelson's wonderful chase of
Villeneuve to the West Indies, and, later, of his glorious
death at the moment of victory at Trafalgar, Turner
painted his tremendous picture of The Shipwreck
one of the most spirited of his seascapes. I am never
tired of looking at this wonderful composition, and the
more I study it the more I find to wonder at and admire.
The masterly way in which knowledge and artifice are
woven together, the endless modulations of light merging
into shadow, the variety of the tones, each little fleck of
foam or swirl of inky water seeming to play its part in
the building up of the harmonious whole. The swing
38 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
and action of the figures, too, are also among the marvels
of this sombre record of man's battle with the might of
the remorseless elements. Not only is each attitude
right in itself and full of meaning; but it also forms part
of a group, and the group in its turn takes its proper
place in the picture. Of course if artifice of this sort were
used in a commonplace manner, the result would be
most uninteresting and wearisome. But Turner has
added the salt of his learning and observation of nature.
Each incident is not only the record of some quickly-
moving phase which passed before his eye; but it is
much more than that; it is a selection of the best of
many changing aspects. Ruskin might object that the
sea is not like real water, and that nobody is wet.
Another critic may remark that the heavily laden boat
in the centre must swamp in a moment, and that clouds
and craft do not throw such jet black shadows. Very
true, but why criticise The Shipwreck from a realistic
point of view? It was never meant to be a literal tran-
script of nature. As for colour, it has so little, that it
might almost as well be painted in black, white, and
brown. The light and shade is that of a room, not of
the open air. In fact, the art is the art of a hundred
At the British Institution he exhibited The Goddess of
Discord in the Garden of the Hesperides. Ruskin has writ-
ten a great many pages to prove how very unreal this
picture is, and how much better it would have been if the
mountains had been full of endless fracture and detail; if
the torrent had worn itself a bed, as a real torrent does.
STUDY: THE PILOTS BOAT
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER 39
He points out what a wonderful lesson it would be for
us all, if we could for a moment set a true piece of Swiss
foreground and mountain beside that brown shore and
those barren crags. Before we agree to this, let us con-
sider what the picture represents. The daughters of
Hesperus, dwelling in the wonderful garden in the
Atlas, guarded by the dragon Ladon, were perfectly un-
real persons living in a land of dreams and fancy. If
Turner had placed them in a realistic mountain valley,
where everything was quite possible and proper, how
very unsatisfactory it all would have been. Besides, it
was not the fashion, for in the days of George III
artists never attempted to paint either the sky blue or
the grass green. Later on, when Constable tried to
introduce a little green into his trees, Sir George Beau-
mont brought out an old brown riddle as a sample of
the sort of colour the trees ought to be.
1806 found him still at 64, Harley Street, and he
exhibited The Fall of the Rhine at Shauffhausen, and
Pembroke Castle, a view across an inlet ruffled by a
strong breeze. On a stretch of wet sand are fishermen
with their catch, an anchor, and some timber. His
picture of Saltash; must also belong to this period, if we
may judge by, the inscription on the brick wall:
" England expects that every man will do his duty."
Only one engraving was published this year, Exeter
College, for the " Oxford Almanack."
Two pictures, now in the National Gallery, were
painted in 1807, A Country Blacksmith, disputing upon
the Price of Iron, and the Price charged to the Butcher
40 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
for shoeing his Pony (a Wilkie-like composition), and
the Sun Rising through Vapour Fishermen cleaning
and selling Fish. It is curious that in this picture, a
work that the painter thought worthy to be bequeathed
to the nation, the figures of the fishermen should be
taken almost exactly from a picture by Teniers, and the
men-of-war are the snub-nosed high-pooped ships of
Vanderveld's time, with sprit topmast at the bowsprit
end and lateen mizzens. One would almost fancy that
Turner wished to show the world how well he could
imitate the two Dutch painters, just as, later on, he went
out of his way to break a lance with Claude Lorraine.
Nearly a hundred years before, this great landscape
painter had etched plates of all his pictures, which he
published under the name of the " Liber Veritatis" ; and
in 1806 a Mr. W. F. Wells suggested to Turner that he
should produce a book of the same sort, calling it the
Miss Wells gives the following description of the be-
ginning of the " Liber" proposed by her father. "After
long and continued persuasion, Turner at last gave way;
and one day, when he was staying with us in Kent (he
always spent a part of the autumn at our cottage), he
said, * Well Gaffer, I see there will be no peace till I
comply; so give me a piece of paper. There now! Rule
the size for me and tell me what I am to do.' My father
said, ' Well, divide your subject into classes, say, Pas-
toral, Marine, Elegant Pastoral, and so forth.' " Nothing
could have suited Turner's fancy better. The work should
be at once produced and Claude should be outdone.
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER 41
The " Liber Studiorum " was published, at odd times,
in parts of five plates each, proofs at twenty-five shillings,
and prints at fifteen shillings. Turner etched the subjects
himself upon the copper in strong trenchant leading
lines, and engravers were engaged to copy his wash
drawings in mezzotint over the etched work. Unfortun-
ately, there were misunderstandings and quarrels. Turner
was always vigorous and exacting in any bargain, and,
expecting others to be as punctual as he was himself,
fought with his engravers.
C. G. Lewis, engraver, was paid six guineas for aqua-
tinting an etching, but the price was so small, that he
would not undertake any more, and this led to a quarrel,
which lasted some years. Charles Turner, the next man,
had eight guineas. His engagement was that he should
engrave fifty drawings, and attend to the printing, pub-
lishing, and delivery of the numbers. The engraver
got through the first twenty plates, and then asked for
more money. The artist flew into a great rage, and the
result was that the two men did not speak for nineteen
years. Finally other engravers were paid as much as
twelve guineas a plate. The Lost Sailor was engraved
by the artist himself. Mistrusting the publishers, he
tried to put the book on the market. His servants
were set to sewing the covers on, and many proofs
were stolen or lost. The public did not understand
the mixture of line and mezzotint, and the " Liber "
was often suspended, once for as long as three years.
Only seventy of one hundred plates were finished, and
ten not carried further than the drawings.
42 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
Much more successful were the line engravings which
during a long life, were Turner's chief source of income.
As the years went on the master gradually drew about
him, and taught, a school of engravers, who raised their
art to a much higher level than had ever been dreamt of
in the old days. Turner, with a lump of black chalk in
one hand and white chalk in the other, would ask:
" Which will you have it done with? " Then he would
pull the proof together, darkening a little there, or
brightening here, slowly weaving the whole into the
perfect work of art, full to overflowing with details, and
faithfully recorded beauties. Yet each incident was so
subordinated and kept in its place that it was made to
form but a half-noticed chord, here and there, in the
grand symphony of the subject. Line engraving was at
its zenith, when Turner was alive and active. However
hard and exacting he may have been in his dealings
with those who toiled so long and painfully to render
the minute finish of his water-colours, we may be sure
that the whole of his efforts were directed towards
making each plate as perfect as possible. When Turner
died, engraving began to go down hill. One by one his
interpreters followed him, and when Miller, Goodall,
Wallis, Cooke, Cousins, Heath, and Allen, were no more,
the art died too.
A picture was required as a companion to the sea
fight by De Loutherbourg, twelve feet by eight, represent-
ing the " Queen Charlotte " engaging the " Montagne "
in the battle of the glorious ist of June; and Turner, as
the first marine painter of the day, was asked to under-
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER 43
take to paint the "Victory" at Trafalgar." Here is a
description of the work taken from James's " Naval
History": " In due time the large area of canvas which,
to correspond with the other picture, became necessary
for this, was covered with all the varied tints which Mr.
Turner knows so well how to mingle and combine, to
give effect to his pictures and excite the admiration of
" Unfortunately for the subject which this splendid
picture is meant to represent, scarcely a line of truth,
beyond perhaps the broadside view of the * Victory's '
hull, is to be seen upon it. To say what time of the
day, or what particular incident, in the ' Victory's ' pro-
ceedings, is meant to be referred to, we do not pretend ;
for the telegraphic message is going up, which was hoisted
at about 1 1 h. 40 m. a.m., the mizen topmast is falling,
which went about I p.m., a strong light is reflected upon
the ' Victory's ' bow and sides from the burning ' Achille,'
which ship did not catch fire until 4 h. 30 m., nor explode
until 5 h. 45 m. p.m. ; the fore topmast, or rather, if our
memory is correct, the foremast of the British three
decker is falling, which never fell at all, and the
1 Redoubtable ' is sinking under the bows of the * Vic-
tory,' although the French ship did not sink until the
night of the 22nd, and then under the stern of the
1 Swiftsure.' "
Nelson's Flag-Captain, Hardy, pronounced it to be
" more like a street scene than a battle, and the ships
more like houses than men-o'-war." One old Greenwich
pensioner said : " I can't make English of it, sir, I can't
44 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
make English of it. It wants altering altogether."
Whilst another exclaimed: "What a Trafalgar! It's a
d deal more like a brickfield. We ought to have had
a Huggins." Huggins, almost forgotten now, was a
painter of ships in these days of oak and hemp.
Let us candidly confess that all these critics were in
the right, and that the great picture is not in the least
like what really took place off Cape Trafalgar. It was
not Turner's way to paint literal transcripts of any
subjects. Even if the principal objects were buildings
or mountains, the artist thought nothing of shifting
whole streets, diverting rivers, and filling up valleys;
and it was not to be expected that he would be very
particular about his facts, when he came to paint a
battle. Others were the same. De Loutherbourg went
so far as to paint the " Queen Charlotte " not where she
was on the glorious ist of June, but where the Admiral
wanted her to be. And even Huggins, when his work is
taken bit by bit in this cold matter-of-fact twentieth
century, does not strike us as particularly truthful.
Whilst Turner was at work, he was criticised and
instructed daily by the naval men about the Court. It
is said, that during eleven days, he altered the rigging to
suit the fancy of every fresh visitor, and he did it with
the greatest good humour; in fact he often joked about
having worked all these days without pay or profit.
I think it was quite characteristic of the artist that he
should crowd into one picture the incidents that hap-
pened during two days. Just as he would, at another
time, paint a town from two or three different points of
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER 45
view, or try to represent daylight, sunset, and moonlight,
all at the same time.
Whatever faults the Greenwich picture of the battle
may have, it certainly has one quality; it makes all
other work near it look like dross, and stands out a thing
In 1808, Turner, besides his house in Harley Street,
had a new address at West End, Upper Mall, Hammer-
smith. It is said he wanted to be near de Loutherbourg,
for he was never too proud to learn of anyone. Mrs. de
Loutherbourg one day shut the door in Turner's face,
saying, he had picked up too much from her husband.
He was now appointed Professor of Perspective at the
Royal Academy Schools, an honour of which he was
proud, for he always took care that the fact should be
stated after his name in the catalogue of the exhibition.
There can be no doubt that Turner thoroughly under-
stood the principles and practice of the science, for
many of the pictures, now in the National Gallery, could
not have been produced unless he had had perspective
at his fingers' ends. But though he took immense pains,
and prepared very elaborate drawings, there can be no
doubt that Turner was not very successful as a teacher.
As Thornbury says, " He had every disadvantage, humble
birth, little or no education, ungainly manners, eccen-
tricity, and a shy, retiring nature." Besides these, the
new Professor had a singular want of power to express
even the simplest ideas either in words or writing.
All his life he had been forcing his fingers to express
his thoughts, not in sound, but in light and shade, colour
46 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
and form. Mr. Nesbit has written a book called " The
Insanity of Genius," in which he tries to prove that a
genius has one part of his brain unduly nourished and
strengthened at the expense of some other part. This
theory would seem to apply to Turner with some force.
One corner of his brain, the corner which recorded im-
pressions of colour, form, and light and shade, and then
with matchless cunning arranged and wove these
into his wonderful compositions, must have been ab-
normally developed by long practice. But quick as his
delicate ringers were to follow his fancy, or express his
emotions in line or tint, yet the same fingers, when used
to convey his thoughts in written words, seem to have
been powerless, except for the production of involved and
meaningless sentences. I think the students must have
learnt much more from Turner's drawings (which demon-
strated not only the construction and projection of all
sorts of architectural subjects with sun shadows and
reflections), than his explanations of them, which, if they
resembled his other writing, must have been very diffi-
cult to understand.
In the Royal Academy, Turner exhibited a picture
with one of his usual long-winded titles, The Unpaid
Bill, or, The Dentist reproving his Son's Prodigality;
and in the British Institution, another, The Battle of
Trafalgar, as seen from the mizzen starboard shrouds of
the Victory ; this picture is now in the National Gallery,
as also the dark and gloomy Jason. There were two
engravings for the "Oxford Almanack," and Parts II
and III of the " Liber Studiorum."
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER 47
In 1809 Spithead, Boats Crew recovering an Anchor;
was shown with two pictures of Tabley, Cheshire; one,
A Windy Day; and the other Calm Morning. The
hundredth work exhibited at the Academy was The
Garretier^s Petition, with a quotation :
Aid me ye powers ! Oh, bid my thoughts to roll,
calling on the muse to descend, and finish well his " long
sought line." There is a plan of Parnassus on the wall.
Besides Sir J. F. Leicester, Turner had other patrons.
The Earl of Lonsdale, for whom he painted Lowther
Castle, and Lord Egremont, owner of Petworth, where
the painter was a welcome guest until 1837, when the
rough, cunning, honest old nobleman died. Thornbury
tells us Egremont liked Turner, and the pair of eccen-
tric men got on well together.
London, from Greenwich, was painted this year; he
also published " Liber Studiorum," No. IV. When the
copper of these plates began to show signs of wear,
Turner used to alter the light and shade, and work upon
the subjects until they looked quite fresh again. He
has been censured for this, and even called dishonest,
but I think the worked-up plates must have been quite
worth the money paid for them, even though they may
have been changed a bit from the first states.
In his efforts to attain perfection, Turner was some-
times very hard towards his engravers. Charles Turner
had produced a very fine mezzotint of The Shipwreck,
33 x 23. Lupton began a plate of Calais Pier to
match this, but when the proofs were shown to Turner,
48 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
he insisted on making the boats much larger, and
pulled the whole subject so much about that at last the
unhappy engraver gave up the work in disgust, and the
plate was never published.
Here is a description of the artist's appearance and
dress about this time : " The very moral of a master
carpenter, with lobster red face, twinkling staring grey
eyes, white tie, blue coat with brass buttons, crab-
shell turned-up boots, large fluffy hat, and enormous
In 1810 he exhibited the two views of Lowther Castle
he had painted the year before; he also painted Abing-
don> Berkshire (a peaceful, quiet evening, with cattle and
horses standing knee-deep in the still river), for Lord
Egremont ; and the Wreck of the " Minotaur " on the
Haak Sands for Lord Yarborough. I think this last the
most splendid sea picture that has ever been painted ;
the power of the waves and the littleness of man have
never been so magnificently suggested. The forefront
of the composition is filled with floating masts and
spars. Shipwrecked sailors and marines cling to them
desperately, whilst the bluff-bowed Dutch boats, tossed
like playthings on the great rollers, are manoeuvring to
come to the rescue. The "Minotaur" herself lies dis-
masted right on her broadside, and the whole scene is
one of death and horror.
Amongst other friends made by the artist, Mr. Fawkes
of Farnley Hall may be noted. This kind and hospitable
squire first became acquainted with Turner about 1802
when he was drawing Richmond^ for Whitaker. As the
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER 49
years rolled on, his house was slowly rilled with Turner's
work ; even as lately as 1 870 there were ten thousand
pounds' worth of his water-colour drawings and oil pic-
tures still left. The painter shot, fished, played with the
children, and made drawings of the picnic parties and
the grouse shooting, the house and the estate, the oak-
panelled study and the white drawing-room, the Crom-
well relics and the conservatory.
One day, returning from a frolic, the painter insisted
on driving home, tandem, over some rough country, and
upset the cart, after which he was known as "Overturner"
in the family. Some writers have made out that our
genius was gloomy and misanthropic, but, if we are to
believe the members of the Fawkes' household, Turner
was full of fun and high spirits.
In 1811 there was Mercury and HersJ, with a quota-
tion from Ovid; Apollo killing the Python, a wonder-
fully suggested monster, writhing and coiling round the
masses of rock, which it grinds to dust in its death
agony, whilst the Sun God watches calmly the effect of
his arrows quite a sombre composition, like The Jason,
or The Garden of Hesperides, with the grandeur that
only Turner could give.
There was a t picture of Chryses, with some lines
from Pope's " Iliad "; Somer Hill; Whalley Bridge and
Abbey ; Windsor Park, with horses by Gilpin, R.A.;
November; Flounder Fishing; May ; Chickens, and Scar-
borough Town and Castle. When the exhibition was
hung, Turner found that a picture by a young artist
galled Bird had somehow been crowded out. He went
50 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
to the other members of the hanging committee, and
reminded them of the forgotten work, insisting that it
was too good to reject. To this they all agreed, but de-
clined to unhang the wall again. Turner had one more
good look at Bird's picture, and then he went to one of
his own of the same size, and, taking it down, hung the
young artist's picture in its place. How many of us
would have done as much?
One stormy day at Farnley, says young Mr. Fawkes,
" Turner called to me loudly from the doorway, ' Haw-
key! Hawkey! Come here! Come here! Look at this
thunderstorm Isn't it wonderful? Isn't it sublime?'
All the time he was making notes of its form and colour
on the back of a letter. I proposed some better drawing
block, but he said it did very well. He was absorbed ;
he was entranced. There was the storm rolling, and
sweeping, and shafting out, its lightning over the York-
shire hills. Presently the storm passed, and he finished.
' There, Hawkey,' said he, ' in two years you will see this
again, and call it Hannibal crossing the Alps'"
In due time the picture was painted, and a magnificent
work it proved. The storm forms a vast arch right
across the sky, and through it the sun shines in a
sickly manner, on the hard-pressed Carthaginian army,
dimly suggested, winding through a rocky valley. This
was the first time that Turner quoted some lines from
that long, rambling, unpublished poem he called " The
Fallacies of Hope " :
Craft, treachery, and fraud Salassian force,
Hung on the fainting rear ! then Plunder seized
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER 51
The victor and the captive Saguntum's spoil,
Alike became their prey; still the chief advanced.
Looked on the sun with hope; low, broad, and wan.
While the fierce archer of the downward year
Stains Italy's blanch'd barrier with storms.
In vain each pass ensanguined deep with dead,
Or rocky fragments, wide destruction roll'd,
Still on Campania's fertile plains he thought,
But the loud breeze sobbed, Capua's joys beware.
For nearly forty years this poem went on, and at
intervals Turner would put some lines from it to one of
his pictures in the catalogues of the exhibitions some-
times it was classic, at others quite topical. It treated of
every possible subject from the Deluge, to Napoleon at
St. Helena. It was quite characteristic of Turner in its
mystery. I doubt if the poet himself could have ex-
plained the meaning of some parts of it they are won-
derfully obscure, and often without rhyme. But now and
then, reading down the page of halting verse, one comes
to a line which suggests in a dim fashion some grand
image, or, perhaps, a thought which would have been
magnificent if the writer had only been capable of ex-
pressing it in suitable words.
In the National Gallery there are twenty thousand
drawings and studies painted by Turner some directly
from nature, and left just as they were done; others, per-
haps, recollections of passing effects or schemes, to be
carried out at some future time. These are of all periods,
from the rude scrawl of the boy of twelve, youthful
attempts to wrestle with the difficulties of rendering
52 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
Gothic windows, Norman castles, or Corinthian porti-
coes, on to imitations of Salvator Rosa or Poussin.
Many of these are quite inartistic, but if we go on to
later work we may discover how power slowly came to
the patient, ever striving student. There are scraps of
memoranda of all sorts of detail, attitudes of figures at
work, vessels under way or at anchor, carts and horses,
sheep and pigs, life studies from the nude, branches of
trees, some of them treated in quite a conventional
drawing-master fashion. Indeed, to the very last, Turner
always painted and drew the copybook tree of his early
days. Then there are jottings of effects or arrangements,
of light and shade in bewildering variety, now and then,
one of them may have jet black for shadows, and clean
white paper for lights. A great many are drawn in pen
and ink, as though Turner, in his search for the marrow
of his subject, had determined to draw with the fewest
possible lines. Often a sketch is drawn across two
sheets of a book, and on the back of each sheet there
may be more sketches, some upside down, and others
right way up, the drawings so interlaced that it is diffi-
cult to say which is which. One can fancy the blunt
old painter striding round the country with his great
blue umbrella, stopping whenever anything took his
fancy to make a note (sometimes a mere hieroglyphic
scribble, at other times a more elaborate drawing), but
always full of character.
In the autobiography of Cyrus Redding there are
several descriptions of little journeys with Turner about
Devonshire. One trip was to Bur Island in a half-decked
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER 53
boat; the excuse was to eat lobsters fresh from the
sea. It was blowing hard. "We mounted the ridges
bravely; the artist enjoyed the scene. He sat in the
stern sheets, intently watching the sea, and not at all
affected by the motion." Then there is a description of
the seasick passengers and the heavy surf. ..." All
this time Turner was silent, watching the tumultuous
scene the little island and the solitary hut it held, the
bay, in the bight of which it lay, and the dark long Bolt
Head to seaward against the rocky shore of which the
waves broke with fury, made the artist become absorbed
in contemplation, not uttering a syllable. While the
shell-fish were preparing, Turner with a pencil clambered
nearly to the summit of the Island and seemed writing
rather than drawing. How he succeeded, owing to the
violence of the wind, I do not know."
There was also a picnic at Mount Edgcumbe, which
was given by Turner in excellent taste. " The donor of
the feast, too, was agreeable, terse, blunt, almost epi-
grammatic at times, but always pleasant for one not
given to waste his words, nor studious of refined bear-
ing." In one place he was much struck, took a sketch,
and when it was done, said: "We shall see nothing
finer than this if we stay till Sunday; because we can't."
It was to the honour of several of the inhabitants of
Plymouth that boats, horses, and tables were ready for
his use. during the time he remained. Everybody felt
that in paying him attention they were honouring a
most extraordinary genius, whose artistic merit had not
been exaggerated. Among other places, Turner was
54 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
invited to Saltram ; the house was full of pictures, but
it was not possible to get him to express any opinion
regarding them. At last he came to Stubb's picture of
Phaeton and the Horses of the Sun, and came out with
the monosyllable, " Fine! "
" Turner in retiring to rest had to pass my bed-room
door, and I remarked to him that its walls were covered
with paintings by Angelica KaufFman 'nymphs and
men like nymphs as effeminate as possible.' . . . He
wished me ' Good-night in your seraglio! ' "
Here is another description of a trip in which a party
had reached the head of the Tamar. Turner was much
struck with the bridge. The party consisted of four. To
go down the river in the night was impracticable on
account of the mud banks. The vehicle would only hold
two. There was an inn, but no beds could be obtained.
Turner said he would rather stay, would anyone volunteer
with him? " I volunteered. Our friends drove off, and
the painter and myself soon adjourned to the miserable
little inn. Very good bread and cheese were produced,
and the home-brewed suited Turner, who expatiated upon
his success with a degree of excitement which, with his
usual dry, short mode of expressing his feelings, could
hardly be supposed. I found the artist could, when he
pleased, make sound, pithy, though somewhat caustic
remarks upon men and things with a fluency rarely heard
from him. We talked much of the Academy, and he
admitted that it was not all it might be made with
regard to art. The ' clock that ticked against the wall '
sounded twelve; I proposed to go to sleep. Turner,
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER 55
leaning his elbows upon the table, and putting his feet
upon a second chair, took a position sufficiently easy and
fell asleep. . . .
" Before six in the morning he rose and went down
towards the river. . . . Turner sketched the bridge, but
appeared from where I stood to be changing his position
several times, as if he had tried more than one sketch
and could not please himself as to the best point. I saw
that bridge and a part of the scene afterwards in a
painting in his gallery. He had made several additions
to the scenery . . . and, if I remember rightly, he had
introduced into it some of the fictitious characters of the
In 1812 Turner moved to a house in Queen Anne
Street, W., close to Portland Place. He had a picture
gallery, and soon gathered together a collection of his
own work. No doubt at first these were merely his un-
sold pictures hung upon the walls of the dingy, untidy
room. As time went on, he added some very fine
examples some bought at sales, others exchanged or
bartered with his patrons. His gallery at last became his
hobby. The rain ran through the skylight and soaked
the walls, but he was always adding to his treasures
though the damp and dirt played sad havoc with them.
In the Royal Academy this year he exhibited a View of
the Castle of St. Michael, near Bonneville, Savoy ; View
of t}ie High Street, Oxford; and another view of the town
from the Abingdon Road; also the Hannibal, before
mentioned. Then there were engravings of Fountains
Abbey, and parts 8, 9, and 10 of the "Liber Studiorum."
56 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
In the 1813 exhibition there was the Frosty Morning,
a brown, thinly-painted picture. Some horses and carts,
with figures, stand by the roadside under the bare
branches of some mean trees. I fancy this must have
changed a good deal, for there is now no trace of the
hoar frost, the painting of which made such a sensation
at the time. Archdeacon Fisher, writing to Constable in
praise of one of his pictures, said : " I only like one better,
and that is a picture of pictures The Frost, by Turner.
But there! you need not repine at this decision of mine.
You are a great man and, like Bonaparte, are only to be
beaten by a frost."
Besides this there was a picture of The Deluge, perhaps
the one now in the National Gallery.
In 1814 Turner, besides his house in town, bought a
little place at Twickenham, which he at first called Solus
Lodge and afterwards Sandycombe. He designed the
doorway himself. His old father used to dig in the
garden and look after the household. Here they soon
got to know the Vicar of Heston, who was very fond of
pictures, and even undertook to teach Turner Greek in
return for lessons in painting. We hear, however, that
the painter floundered sadly in the verbs and never made
any real progress. At last, after trying hard for some
time, he said : " I fear I must give it up, Trimmer. You
get on better with your painting than I do with my
The young Trimmers, who were still living when
Thornbury wrote his " Life of Turner," remembered him
as an ugly, slovenly, old man, and described how he made
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER 57
them laugh, and how pleasant and sociable he was. From
their descriptions we can picture the life at Sandycombe,
and the whole surroundings of the place the garden
running down to the Thames, where the summer house
stood in which some of the best pictures were painted ;
the boys who came bird-nesting, and against whom
Turner waged war, and in revenge was named Black-
birdy; the square pond dug by himself, covered with
water lilies, and filled with trout brought from the Brent
in a can ; and also the pike that got among them ; the
fishing expeditions with Chantrey the sculptor ; the boat
kept at Richmond, and the large canvases painted in her
direct from nature. In the judgment of the boys these
last were his very finest productions " No re-touching,
every thing firmly in its place." Then the gig and the
quadruped Old Crop Ear, a cross between a horse and
a pony, which sat for the horses in the Frosty M anting \
Turner was very happy in catching the stiff look of the
fore legs. There were sketching trips in the gig, and
the boys said that Turner painted faster than he drove,
and they remembered walking with him by the river side,
under the blaze of the great comet.
In the house itself everything was very modest. Two-
pronged forks, knives with large ends, and earthenware in
strict keeping. " I remember," says young Mr. Trimmer,
" Turner saying one day, ' Old Dad, have you not any
wine ? ' Turner senior produced a bottle of currant
" Queen Anne Street was just as homely. You were
always welcome to what he had, and if it was near
58 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
dinner time he always pressed you to stay and brought
out cake and wine. The cake he would good-naturedly
stuff into my pockets."
" When he called on me once, he spoke with rapture
of a picture of, I think, Poussin's Jonah Cast on Shore,
calling it a wonderful picture, and dispatching us to see
it. I have heard him speak most enthusiastically in
praise of Gainsborough's execution, and Wilson's tone,
and he plainly thought himself their inferior. We were
one day looking at a Vanderveld, and on some one ob-
serving, c I think you could go beyond that,' he shook
his head and said, c I can't paint like him.' "
The following letter is said to be an offer of marriage.
Turner was about forty, and the lady mentioned was a
relation of the Trimmers.
Queen Anne Street.
Tuesday, August ist, 1815.
MY DEAR SIR,
I lament that all hope of the pleasure of seeing you
or getting to Heston must for the present probably vanish.
My father told me on Saturday last when I was as usual
compelled to return to town the same day, that you and
Mrs. Trimmer would leave Heston for Suffolk as to-morrow,
Wednesday. In the first place I am glad to hear that her
health is so far established as to be equal to the journey, and
to give me your utmost hope for her benefiting by the sea air
being fully realised; 'Twill give me great pleasure to hear, and
the earlier the better.
After next Tuesday, if you have a moment's time to spare,
a line will reach me at Farnley Hall, near Otley, Yorkshire,
and for some time, as Mr. Fawkes talks of keeping me in the
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER 59
North by a trip to the Lakes, and until November; therefore
I suspect I am not to see Sandycombe. Sandycombe sounds
just now in my ears as an act of folly when I reflect how little
I have been able to be there this year and less chance perhaps
for the next. In looking forward to a continental excursion,
and poor Daddy seems as much plagued with weeds as I am
with disappointment that if Miss would but waive bash-
fulness, or in other words make an offer instead of expecting
one, the same might change occupiers; but not to trouble you
further allow me with most sincere respect to Mrs. Trimmer
and family, to consider myself
Your most truly obliged,
J. M. W. TURNER.
I leave my reader to guess whether the painter meant
this letter to be taken as an intimation that Barkis was
willing. Whichever way the words were intended to be
understood matters little now, the lady did not " waive
bashfulness," or " make an offer," and Turner continued
to the end a lonely old bachelor.
In 1814, "Cooke's Southern Coast "was begun with
St. Michael's Mount > Pool; Land's End; Weymouth;
Lulworth Cove, and Corfe Castle \ these engravings were
published almost every year until 1816. There were
many misunderstandings and quarrels with the pub-
lisher. Seven pounds ten was the price originally paid
for each drawing, but eventually the amount was raised
to ten pounds. The letterpress of the " Coast " was written
by W. Combe, the author of " Dr. Syntax." Turner tried
his hand at a description of St. Michael's Mount. Here
is a letter about it:
60 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
MY DEAR SIR,
I am really concerned to be obliged to say that
Mr. T s account is the most extraordinary composition I
have ever read. It is impossible for me to connect it, for in
some parts I do not understand it. The punctuation is every-
where defective, and here I have done what I could, and have
sent the proofs to Mr. Bulmer. I think the revises should be
sent to Mr. T to request his attention to the whole, and
particularly the part that I have marked as unintelligible. In
my private opinion it is scarcely an admissible article in its
present state ; but as he has signed his name to it he will be
liable to the sole blame for its imperfections
Your faithful humble servant
There is another letter later asking Cooke, if he does
not mean to drive Mr. T stark staring mad, to get
two uncorrected sheets from Mr. Bulmer.
Turner and Carew, the sculptor, were once fishing in a
pond at Petworth; said the latter: "Turner, they tell
me you're very rich." Turner chuckled and said, " Am
I?" "Yes, everybody says so." "Ah!" replied he, "I
would give it all up again to be twenty years of age
again." This year he had only one picture in the
Academy, Dido and dSneas, with a quotation from
Dryden. There was also one at the British Institution,
Apuleia in Search of Apuleius. These were the stirring
times of the last phases of the Peninsular War, the
retreat from Moscow, the battles of Leipsic, Orthes,
Toulouse, the surrender of Paris, and the abdication of
CROSSING THE BROOK, 1815
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER 61
In 1815, Turner exhibited Bligh Sand, near Sheerness.
A fleet of Thames shrimpers is beating to windward,
close to a spit of mud, marked by a buoy. The sun is just
breaking through the black clouds at the top of the pic-
ture, and yet its rays are twisted back in characteristic
Turner fashion, so that the light is shining full on the
sails of the distant shrimpers. The colour is little more
than black and brown, but the sky is very fine, and
space is well suggested.
Crossing the Brook was evidently worked out from the
sketches made in Devonshire with Cyrus Redding.
Though the colour is so pale as to be little more than
monochrome, there is a most perfect rendering of a
beautiful river, winding away for miles and miles through
rolling hills and valleys, until at last in the haze it
reaches the sea, which is only suggested. A great white
summer cloud rises into the gray sky, magnificently
drawn and modelled, and in the foreground is a group of
trees painted in the conventional drawing-rmaster fashion
of the period, but nevertheless exactly suited to their
semi-classic surroundings. Space and distance have never
been more finely suggested.
My friend Mr. David Murray was once painting in an
orchard at Dittisham on the Dart, a picture he after-
wards called All adown a Devon- Valley, when an old
man came up to watch the progress of the work, and,
after a while, getting into conversation, he told how
when he was a boy, a little man, with a tiny water-colour
box and sketch book, had painted the very same view,
and had given him sixpence for holding a great blue
62 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
umbrella over him whilst he worked. His whole atten-
tion seemed concentrated on his sketch, and he paid no
heed to the drizzle which was falling all the time. The
boy found out afterwards that this was the great Turner.
" Well," said Murray, " I would have given much more
than sixpence to have been allowed to hold that blue
Up to this time the master had only used colour very
sparingly, and all shadows had been painted with black
or brown, but in Dido Building Carthage, or the Rise of
the Carthaginean Empire, we may see the first attempt
to break with the old traditions. Turner himself
evidently considered this to be his best picture, for
though he talked of being rolled up in it and buried,
with Carthage for a winding sheet, yet he had made up
his mind that it should be bequeathed to his country, to
be hung between two Claudes in the National Gallery.
The subject is treated in quite a conventional manner;
it would seem as though Turner had looked at the
Embarkation of the Queen of Sheba, and had taken it, bit
by bit, determined to outdo it in every part. In each
picture the setting sun shines right in the middle. There
are in each the same tall Renaissance columns, and little
groups of figures. Perhaps it was when Turner set out
to wrestle for a fall with Claude that he began to think
of putting more colour into his pictures ; for The Queen
of Sheba and The Marriage of Isaac and Rebecca, which
hang on each side of the Carthage, are by no means
colourless. We must admit that it was a bold thing to
attempt to go one better than the old master in his own
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER 63
manner, and on his own classic ground ; and in spite of
Turner's much greater power I somehow feel that Claude,
who was not trying to imitate anyone, but was only
striving to render nature in his own childlike, simple
way, has rather the best of the battle.
I have heard two musicians play a nocturne by Chopin.
The first one not a great performer, but a sympathetic
toiler, thinking only of the melody. The second, one of
those brilliant executants who could do nothing that
was not absolutely right, strummed away, thinking only
of the cleverness of the performer.
Of course there is some splendid work in the Carthage.
The painting of the galleys, hauled up in the misty dis-
tance, is as fine as anything Turner has done. In spite
of this, however, there is ever such a slight suggestion
of the drop scene in the conventionality of the treat-
ment, which somehow reminds me of the brilliant but
Another picture, this busy year of the hundred days,
and of the crowning victory of Waterloo, was The Battle
of Fort Rock. It had a long quotation from the " Falla-
cies of Hope " MS.
The snow capt mountain, and huge towers of ice,
Thrust forth their dreary barriers in vain;
Onward the van progressive forced its way,
Propelled; as the wild Reuss by native glacers fed,
Rolls on impetuous, with every check gains force
By the constraint upraised; till to its gathering powers
All yielding down the pass wide devastation pours
Her own destructive course. Thus rapine stalked
64 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
Triumphant; and plundering hordes exulting strew'd,
Fair Italy thy plains with woe.
There were also The Eruption of the Souffrur Moun-
tain in the Island of St. Vincent at Midnight, on the
3Otk of April, 1812; from a sketch taken at the time by
Hugh P. Kean, Esq.: The Passage of Mount St. Got hard,
taken from the centre of the Teufels Bruck: The Great
Fall of the Riechenbach; and The Lake of Lucerne, from
the Landing-place at Fluelen.
The peace which closed the great war with France
did not usher in a time of prosperity. There was a debt
of eight hundred millions, and the taxes were very
heavy. Bad harvests, the disbanding of a great mass of
men, and the stagnation of trade caused riots and a
rapid increase of crime and ruin, and men were hanged
in those good old days for very little; sheep stealing
was quite enough to bring a thief to the gallows.
In 1816 Turner exhibited two pictures of The Temple
of Jupiter PanJiellenius; one restored and the other taken
from a sketch by H. Gully Knight, Esq. The following
year he showed The Decline of the Carthaginian Empire.
At Hope's delusive smile,
The chieftain's safety and the mother's pride
Were to the insidious conqueror's grasp resign'd;
While o'er the western wave th' ensanguined sun,
In gathering haze, a stormy signal spread,
And set portentous.
In the exhibition of 1818 Raby Castle; Dort or Dor-
drecht; The Packet Boat from Rotterdam becalmed; The
Field of Waterloo:
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER 65
The earth is covered thick with other clay,
Which her own clay shall cover heaped and pent,
Rider and horse friend, foe, in one red burial blent.
and a Landscape: Composition of Tivoli.
The engraving for the "Southern Coast" continued, and
in 1819 Whitaker's " History of Richmondshire " begins.
In the Academy there was that grand picture, Entrance
of the Meuse Orang Merchantman on the bar going to
pieces ', Brill Church bearing S.E. by S., Marensluys, E.
by S.; now in the National Gallery, and also Richmond
Hill on Prince Regent's Birthday. The grass and trees
are very brown, but the short-waisted ladies with their
beaux are gracefully suggested. This year the last part
of the " Liber Studiorum " appeared : The East Gate,
Winchelsea; Isis; Ben Arthur; Interior of a Church; and
The Woman of Samaria. After this the work came to
an end, with the remaining twenty plates still unpub-
Turner must have paid a visit to Italy as well as
Holland, for besides the view of Tivoli he now shows, in
1820, Rome from the Vatican Raffaelle accompanied by
La Fornarina, preparing his pictures for the decoration of
the Loggia. This is a very unfortunate choice of subject,
for Turner, in his efforts to squeeze in as much of Rome
and St. Peter's as possible, has taken such a wide angle
view that the whole looks distorted. He made a number
of drawings from sketches taken in Italy by means of
the camera obscura for " Hakewell's Picturesque Italy";
Some of his finest work was done for "The History of
Richmond," Ingleborough; High Force; Kerby Lonsdale;
66 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
Churchyard; Wy cliff; and the Junction of tlie Greta and
In Sir Walter Scott's company Turner went to several
of the scenes of his poems: Smallholm Craigs, Jedburgh,
Asheshel, Carlisle, Newark, and Edinburgh. Scott told
the painter that the habit of lying here on the turf
among the sheep and lambs when a lame boy, had
given his mind a peculiar tenderness for those animals.
Turner also stayed with Mr. Thomson, of Duddings-
ton in Edinburgh, and, on leaving, pressed the reverend
artist to return the compliment if he ever came to Lon-
don. This Mr. Thomson unexpectedly did. Turner in-
vited his visitor to dine. A day was fixed, but it hap-
pened that in the course of the day Thomson called
upon a nobleman who also asked him to dine. He
pleaded that he was engaged to Turner, but the noble-
man directed Thomson to bring Turner with him. The
artist accordingly was waited on, and accepted after a
little demur : " Well, if I must, I s'pose I must, but "
Before he had time to complete the sentence, his father,
who had been listening while preparing a canvas for his
son, exclaimed: "Go, Billy, go; the mutton needn't be
Among the four hundred framed drawings kept in the
cases on the ground floor of the National Gallery, a good
many of the Italian sketches may be ascribed to this
period. They have been, for the most part, painted
direct from nature, and were left without subsequent
It is a perfect education to go through these one by
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER 67
one, and in them to follow the master in his wanderings.
Among them are most exquisite records, like that of
Tivoli, drawn with the utmost perfection of dainty skill.
All the little towers, roofs, and garden walls perched on
the jutting rock, half hidden in trees and shrubs, sug-
gested with the most loving tenderness. The sky is
washed in with only a few touches, but each mark
seems to be absolutely right, the wooded valley stretch-
ing away for miles to the pale mountains just visible;
all suggested in the very simplest way, just put in straight
Then there are some of the Roman Campagna with
the winding Tiber and the Alban Hill, old broken aque-
ducts standing up out of the dried-up grass.
A perfect outline drawing is that one of the palace of
the mad Queen Joanna, half surrounded by the sea, and
in the distance the piled up houses clustered thick upon
the steep sides of St. Elmo.
There are quite a number of sketches of the half-
ruined buildings of Naples, perched in delightful con-
fusion among the cypresses and palms under the quiet
volcano which pours out a soft column of white steam
straight into the still air.
In other drawings Capri rises jagged and torn from
the waters of the bay. It is just as though we were
looking at the very scene itself. These are but a few
taken almost at hazard from this treasure house. No
one who has not gone through the works painted face
to face with nature can have a notion of the greatness
68 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
When any picture of Turner's came up at Christie's,
the artist used to send some one to bid for it, to add to
his collection, or if that was not possible, at any rate to
keep it from going too cheap. One day when the bidding
was brisk, a clean, ruddy-cheeked butcher boy in blue
made several advances of 5 before Mr. Christie noticed
him : at last he was asked for his authority, and produced
a note from the artist instructing the strange emissary to
try to get the picture.
In 1821 Turner did not exhibit any pictures, but six
engravings appeared in Whi taker's " History of Rich-
mondshire," Aste Hall; High Tore; Brignols Church;
The Crook of Lune; Kirkby Lonsdale Churchyard; and
In the "Southern Coast" there were Lulworth Castle;
T orb ay from Brixham; and Minehead.
Next year he had one small picture, What You Will.
There were seven more plates in the " Richmondshire
History": St. Agatha's Abbey; Eggleston Abbey ; Mar-
rick Abbey; Simmer Lake; Mossdale Fall, Ingleborough;
Hornby Castle; and Heysham and Camberland Mounts.
1823 brought that wonderful work The Bay of Baiae,
with Apollo and the Sibyl. Only eight years before, the
Crossing the Brook was painted in little more than black,
brown, and palest blue, and now Turner has thrown aside
the inky shadows and cold gray skies, and has burst out
in a perfect blaze of splendid colour.
Years ago, when I was a student at the old Academy
schools in Trafalgar Square, I used to stroll out at the
luncheon hour, or after closing time, to have a look at the
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER 69
Old Masters in the National Gallery next door. Some-
how my feet always seemed to carry me to this, my
favourite picture at that time.
I think the blue sea breaking gently on the sandy
shore is one of the most perfect of Turner's visions of
Italy. The little jetty, the fishing boats, the castle, and
the volcanic hills thickly wooded and piled ridge beyond
ridge as they pale into the haze, are all most splendidly
painted ; the ruins half hidden in vines and long trailing
creepers are well done, and take their places in the
scheme. There are thin rich glazes and strong yellows
in the foreground, and two very conventional stone pines
which throw a most unnatural dark shadow right across
the foreground. The Sibyl, holding up the cryptic hand-
ful of sand to Apollo as a request for many years of life,
is painted quite carelessly; indeed, one would almost
fancy that the whole of the near objects were forced up
in that rich, juicy fashion, merely to drive back the
delicate middle distance and enhance its beauty. There
is no doubt that it does produce that effect, for if you
shut out that part of the composition with your hand,
the rest of the picture suffers, though the foreground is
nothing by itself. By the way, the Cumaen Sibyl was
seven hundred years old and quite bent and wrinkled
when the pious ^neas first came to Italy. It is char-
acteristic of Turner that she should be represented quite
young and buxom, with the ruins of the baths of Nero,
the sixteenth-century castle at Baja, and the Monte
Nuovo, which was only upheaved in 1538, as a back-
ground. One peculiarity of the artist's which has been
70 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
noticed is that the further branches on the trees are
painted pale and faint, as though they were fronds of
seaweed seen through muddy water. I have no doubt
that this was purposely done to produce an illusion and
to make the spectator fancy that the back part of the
foliage was really away in the distance. In these days,
when stern realism is the fashion, to us moderns this
sort of artifice seems a little strained.
It had in the catalogue a quotation from " The Fallacies
Waft me to sunny Baiae's shore.
After the picture returned from the exhibition, it hung
in Turner's dusty studio, where it must have looked
quite like a window opened in the wall to which contem-
porary artists likened it.
Jones, who admired the work, was discussing its merits
with a traveller who had been to the spot and found that
the real locality had been rather freely treated, or, as
Thornbury puts it, " Half the scene was sheer invention."
This is not quite the fact, for the Baiae is more topo-
graphical than most of Turner's pictures. Jones took
a bit of chalk and wrote across the frame " Splendide
Mendax," but Turner only laughed, and the joke remained
for years, for it was never effaced.
In 1824 the British National Gallery of pictures was
founded by the purchase of the collection of John Julius
Angerstein's thirty-eight pictures, nine of them by British
artists. This, the nucleus of the present exhibition in
Trafalgar Square, was secured to the nation by a grant
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER 71
of Parliament made in April. Afterwards Sir George
Beaumont gave sixteen pictures, including five by British
artists. At a meeting at Somerset House, attended by
Sir Robert Peel, Lord Harding, and many noted men, it
was decided to buy two pictures of Turner and to present
them to the National Gallery. A memorial was drawn
up and Turner's old friend Griffiths was asked to present
it. The offer was .5,000 for the two pictures, The Rise
of Carthage (the Dido) and The Decline of the Carthaginian
Empire " Rome being determined on the overthrow of
her hated rival, demanded from her such terms as might
either force her into war or ruin her by compliance. The
enervated Carthaginians, in their anxiety for peace, con-
sented to give up even their arms and their children."
Griffiths took the memorial, and when Turner had
read it, "his eyes brightened," says Thornbury; "he
was deeply moved, even to tears, for he was capable of
intense feeling. He expressed his pride and delight at
such a noble offer from such men. But his eye caught
the word Carthage and he exclaimed sternly: 'No, no,
they shall not have it'; and upon Griffiths turning to
go, he called out after him: 'Oh, Griffiths! make my
compliments to the memorialists and tell them Carthage
may some day become the property of the nation.' The
picture, it is said, was originally painted for 100, and
the buyer had declined to take it when the critics and
the press began to attack it." At any rate, the painter
must now have felt much gratified ; he went about saying
to himself, " This is a great triumph!"
Turner always meant his pictures of the Carthaginian
72 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
Empire to be typical of Great Britain in its war with
France. He intended the fate of the enervated, luxurious
citizens to be an awful warning to his countrymen of
what might befall them if they gave way to slothfulness
and ease; Imperial France, of course, was a personifica-
tion of old Rome.
Next year Turner exhibited no picture, but he was
very busy making water-colours for the engravers.
W. B. Cooke's "Rivers of England" came out with
mezzotints of Totnes; Dartmouth; Dartmouth Castle;
Stangate Creek; Rochester; Warkworth; Kirkstall Abbey ;
Kirks tall Lock; Nor ham; Newcastle; Shields; Brougham
Castle; Arundel; Moore Park; Mouth of the Number; and
Okehampton. Then there were Margate; Rye; Clovelly;
Hythe; Ramsgate; and St. Maues; for the " Southern
Coast," also published by Cooke. Ehrenbreitstein; drawn
in 1819, from the quay at Coblentz, during the demoli-
tion of the fortress, was also, with the Eddystone Light-
house ; published this year.
In 1825 the Harbour of Dieppe (Changment de Domi-
cile); was exhibited at the Academy ; and Brighton; Bos-
castle; and Combe Martin; published in the " Southern
Coast." Seven drawings were done for Murray's edition
of Lord Byron's Works, some of them from sketches by
Allison The Temple of Minerva; Cape Colonna; Tombe
of Cecilia Metella; Negroponte; Acropolis of Athens;
Malta; Rhodes; and the Drachenfels.
This year his great patron and friend, Mr. Fawkes,
died. Turner was very much affected, and though often
invited, would never go to Farnley again as he could not
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER 73
bear to visit his old haunts, the scenes of so many inno-
cent pleasures and jollifications. Some years before
Turner had been up the Rhine, and on his return he had
landed at Hull, and had come straight on to Farnley,
where he produced from the breast pocket of his great
coat a roll of fifty-three drawings, perfect little sug-
gestions of nature, though painted at the rate of three
Mr. Fawkes bought the whole for 500; years after-
wards his son, Hawkesworth, brought the set up to the
dismal house in Queen Ann Street to show to their
creator. The old man turned them over until he came
to one Twilight in the Lorelei, a gray, dim drawing,
with one or two specks of light from craft on the river.
His eyes filled with tears, and he could only say: "But,
Hawkey ! but, Hawkey ! " He was thinking of old happy
days and the friend gone for ever. For twenty-four long
years one of those famous Yorkshire goose-pies was
regularly sent from Farnley to Turner. Just before
Christmas, 1851, the twenty-fifth was packed and ready,
when news reached Yorkshire that the famous painter
had gone to his long rest.
Farnley is full of mementos of the painter. There is
the Two-decker taking in Stores, drawn from memory,
to show a lady, who had never seen one, what a line-of-
battleship looked like. This was done in three hours,
and Ruskin looked upon it as a miracle of memory and
observation, though I must confess, that with all the
practice and experience that Turner had, it does not
seem at all wonderful that he should have been able to
74 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
draw what he knew by heart. There were birds that he
had shot and then painted. There were views on the
Wharfe, the old porch flower garden, the dairy, the oak
room, old staircase, the study, and a hundred other
records, some done with loving care and others rougher
jottings. Last, there is a caricature of Turner himself,
drawn by Mr. Fawkes, which was thought by old friends
to be very like, " a little Jewish-nosed man in an ill-cut
brown tail coat, striped waistcoat, and enormous frilled
shirt, the feet and hands notably small, sketching on a
small piece of paper, held down almost level with his
waist." Once Mr. Fawkes had been driving over the
Simplon Pass when he met a well-known little thick-set
man, walking with no luggage except a large faded um-
brella. It was the original of his caricature.
In the exhibition of 1826 there was Cologne: the Ar-
rival of a Packet Boat Evening; Forum Romanum;
for Mr. Soame's museum, The Seat of William Moffatt,
Esq. y Mortlake Early Summer, morning.
There is a story told of the Cologne, which is quite
characteristic of Turner, and shows how tender-hearted
This picture, remarkable for a very brilliant sky, hap-
pened to be hung next to two portraits by Lawrence,
which not being painted in so high a key were very
much injured by the juxtaposition. Sir Thomas was in
despair; the works that had looked so bright in his
studio now seemed dull and earthy. Turner listened, and
at last got to work on his sky. He took some water-colour
lamp-black and went all over it. " Why, Turner, what
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER 75
have you done to your picture?" said a friend, who had
seen it before the alteration. " Oh! it's all right; it will
all wash off after the close of the exhibition. And poor
Lawrence was so unhappy." This is the man who has
been accused of greed and rapacity. He was so consci-
entious that when he caught a fish that was at all under-
sized he would always appeal to some bystander to
know if it ought not to be put back in the river.
Stanfield had painted a seapiece, which he called
Throwing the Painter^ but he was not able to get it
finished in time for the exhibition, so Callcott facetiously
called his Missing the Painter. Next year Turner, who
wanted to keep the joke up, painted a picture which he
called Now for the Painter passengers going on board.
Detractors of the character of the artist have made out
that Turner chose this title in a spirit of bombast, and
that he wished to imply that he, Turner, was the real
painter. But is this at all likely? Surely it was but a
harmless bit of fun. The painter spoken of is the nautical
term for the rope by which a boat is towed. The picture
represents the entrance to Calais harbour. In the fore-
front, bobbing in the lumpy water, is a round-sterned
Dutch-looking boat, crowded with passengers and their
lugg a g e - One hand forward is stowing the sail, whilst
the steersman, who has his helm hard a-port, waves his
hand to a bluff-bowed, three-masted lugger, which seems
to be luffing round to pick him up; for a man stands up
in her by the mizzenmast with a heaving-line in his hand.
I am afraid they are going to make a very clumsy job
of getting alongside, for the head of the boat is at right
76 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
angles to the course of the lugger, so even if the sailor
in the tall hat does manage to get his painter aboard,
there will be a terrible jerk when a turn is taken.
Perhaps, however, the lugger will go round and make
another shot, in which case the title should be Calcott's
Missing the Painter. The sails of the chasse-maree
are very badly set, and one wonders if she won't miss
stays when the helm is put down. The sky is most
beautiful a great cumulus cloud crossed by light scud,
darkens towards the north as though rain might soon
come on. In those days vessels could not get into
Calais at low water, and passengers had to be brought
off or landed in small boats ; perhaps this is a recollection
of one of Turner's journeys: I see the letters on the flag
spell " Pas de Calais."
In 1827 there was another picture of Mortlake Ter-
race> seat of William Moffatt, Esq. Evening. It is said
that Turner thinking that some dark object was wanted
in the foreground, cut a dog out in black paper, and
stuck it on to try the effect, which was so good that he
left it sticking there. Let us hope it remains to this
The other pictures this year were A Scene in Derby-
When first the sun with beacon red
Port Ruysdael; and Rembrandt's Daughter; which was
afterwards hung at Petworth ; Dido directing the Equip-
ment of the Fleet, or the Morning of the Carthaginian
Empire came in 1828. The sun is in |the middle of the
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER 77
picture, and under it is a shining path of glitter. There
are the modern classic buildings, which were always intro-
duced into Turner's Carthaginian subjects; the usual
crowd of figures and the tall pine we know so well. I
suppose it is as unlike the real Carthage as anything can
be. Two pictures of East Cowes Castle, the seat of J.
Nash) Esq.; The Regatta Beating to Windward; and
The Regatta Starting for their new Moorings; and a
figure picture, Boccaccio Relating the Tale of the Bird-
cage; painted in rivalry to Stothard. Leslie tells how
Turner said he wished he could paint like him, saying
that he was the Giotto of England.
Turner went to Italy for the third time in the autumn
of this year. Here is part of a letter to his friend Jones :
"Genoa and all the sea coast, from Nice to Spezzia, is
remarkably rugged and fine ; so is Massa. Tell that fat
fellow Chantrey, that I did think of him then (but not the
first or the last time) of the thousands he had made out
of these marble crags which only afforded me a sour
bottle of wine and a sketch ; but he deserves everything
which is good, though he did give me a fit of the spleen
Here is another letter, dated Rome, 6th November:
MY DEAR CHANTREY,
I intended long before this (but you will say fudge)
to have written; but even now, very little information have I
to give you in matters of art, for I have confined myself to the
painting department at Corso; and having finished one, am
about the second, and getting on with Lord E's, which I began
the very first touch at Rome; but as the folk here talked that
78 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
I would show them not^ I finished a small three feet four to
stop their gabbing so now to business.
Sculpture of course first, for it carries away all the patronage,
so it is said, in Rome; but all seem to share in the goodwill of
the patrons of the day. Gott's studio is full, Wyatt and Rennie,
Ewing, Buxton, all employed. Gibson has two groups in hand,
Venus and Cupid and the Rape of Hylas (three figures), very
forward, though I doubt much if it will be in time (taking the
long voyage into the scale) for the exhibition, though it is for
England. Its style is something like The Psyche^ being two
standing figures of nymphs leaning enamoured over the youth-
ful Hylas with his pitcher. The Venus is a sitting figure with
the Cupid in attendance, and if it had wings like a dove to flee
away and be at rest, the rest would not be the worse for the
change. Thorwaldsten is closely engaged on the late Pope's
Pius VII. monument. Portraits of the superior animal man is
to be found in all. In some the inferior viz. greyhounds and
poodles, cats and monkeys, etc. etc.
Pray give my remembrances to Jones and Stokes, and tell
him I have not seen a bit of coal stratum for months. My love
to Mrs. Chantrey and take the same and good wishes of yours
J. M. W. TURNER.
The "three feet by four " was the beautiful View of Or-
vieto^ afterwards shown in the Academy and now in the
National Gallery. The distant town, perched upon a rock,
rising out of a valley bathed in sunlight, is most gorgeous
in colour. It is quite like what one remembers to have
seen on some evening when everything is at its best just
before the sun sinks. The art with which the hills and
wood-crowned knolls are made to fade away one beyond
the other into space, is perfect.
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER 79
But there is the usual drawing-master tree, and the
thin, unreal foreground one sees in so many of Turner's
later pictures. It is as though he had cared nothing for
the foreground itself, but merely painted it to throw back
and keep in its place the superb middle distance, which I
suppose was really all the painter tried for. Two sketchy
women are washing linen at a very glazy, unsubstantial
fountain, and there is a suggestion of vines and gourds,
like such stuff as dreams are made of. Mr. Rippingille,
who made inquiries in Rome as to the appreciation
Turner met with there, did not find that his work was at
all esteemed. There was an English tradesman living
there, whose name was Turner. He sold English mus-
tard, and the Roman jokers said that one Turner sold
mustard and the other painted with it. Some intelligent
Romans wondered that the English could be so devoid
of taste as to admire and tolerate such extravagant pro-
ductions. I suppose the hot colour in the foreground
was what the benighted people laughed at. They must
have been rather blind to fail to understand the beauty
of the distance.
Turner must have left Italy on the 22nd of January,
1829, for there was a picture entitled: Messieurs les
Voyageurs on 'their Return from Italy (par la Diligence)
in a Snow-drift upon Mount Tarra. The other pictures
were: The Banks of the Loire, now in the Schwabe Col-
lection at Hamburg; Linlithgow Palace, which stands
on a height overlooking a lake in which some boys are
bathing; The Loretto Necklace, an Italian town perched
on a wooded knoll, down which rushes a waterfall. There
8o LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
is an aqueduct and some distant mountains, and in the
foreground, under the conventional Turner tree, are the
two little figures which give the name to the picture.
Besides this, there was Ulysses deriding Polyphemus,
from Homer's "Odyssey," a most wonderful kaleido-
scopic composition, lighted from all directions, a fiery
sunrise on one side of the picture, and on the other the
galley of Ulysses in full sunlight, her long lateen yards
crowded with the sailors who are loosing the bellying
sails and hoisting strange pennants. The oars are lash-
ing the water, and round the prow, in a sort of green
phosphorescence, are many sea-nymphs gambolling like
dolphins, beyond are arched rocks and fairy caves with
lights twinkling in misty grottoes. Above are piled
mountain peaks which melt into the clouds, and the dim
outline of the Cyclops is seen in the mists, resting his
head upon his hand, and calling down vengeance upon
the Greeks who have blinded him. Polyphemus is the
finest suggestion of a figure Turner ever painted. He is
made to look enormous, and there is something pathetic
in his attitude of impotent fury which somehow makes
one pity him. One does not find out Ulysses until after
looking at the picture for some time, though he is in red
and stands in a prominent place upon the poop, nor does
one at first see the figure of Phoebus rising with his horses
from the sea. There are two more Greek ships, black
against the sunrise, and the whole is one of the most
extraordinary dreams ever put upon canvas. It is quite
impossible even to try to criticize such a picture, for it is
so utterly unlike anything we have ever seen (unless
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER 81
perhaps in the transformation scene at a pantomime), so
that we can only stand and wonder at its magnificence.
In 1830, Turner exhibited Pilate washing his Hands:
"When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but
that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and
washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am
innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it"
(St. Matthew, xxvii, 24).
This picture is now in the National Gallery. I don't
know whom Turner was trying to outdo when he painted
it ; perhaps some long forgotten master. Then there was
Palestrina; composition^ with a quotation from the MS.
of the " Fallacies of Hope " :
Or from yon mural rock, high crown'd Praeneste,
Where misdeeming of his strength the Carthaginian stood,
And marked, with eagle eye, Rome as his victim.
I have never seen this picture, but it is described as a
view over an extensive prospect. A town crowns vast
rocky heights; there is a triumphal arch, a cascade, a
glade, a flock of goats, and two children, amid fragments
of ancient architecture upon the ground, and beyond blue
sky with white clouds.
Besides there was Jessica :
Shylock. Jessica, shut the window, I say.
Merchant of Venice.
This was painted in Rome, as his letter to Chantrey
shows. The Lord E. was George, third Earl of Egre-
mont. Calais sands, low water Poissards collecting bait;
The Fish Market on the Sands the Sun rising through
82 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
Vapour; and Funeral of Sir Thomas Lawrence, a sketch
The funeral took place in the snow, and Wilkie, who
was next to Turner, whispered, " That J s a fine effect," but
Turner considered the remark untimely, and turned away
in disgust; nevertheless he could not resist trying to
realize the scene when he got home. The sketch is now
in the National Gallery. One sees the portico of St.
Paul's Cathedral, with the procession moving up the
steps. The statue of Queen Anne and the carriages are
all in deep snow.
This year the banker-poet, Samuel Rogers, brought
out his " Italy," sumptuously printed, bound, and illus-
trated with splendid drawings by Turner, engraved by
all the finest talent of the time. The subjects were The
Lake of Geneva; TeWs Chapel; St. Maurice; The Great
St. Bernard (with figures by Stothard, and dogs by
Landseer); The Battle of Marengo; Aosta; Martigny; The
Alps; Como; Venice; Florence; Villa of Galileo; Villa
Madonna; Rome; The Campagna; Castle of St. Angela;
Tivoliy Ruins; Scene with Banditti; Naples; Paestum;
Amalfi; The Felucca^ and Farewell.
Turner and Rogers got on very well together. The
poet was rallied for bringing out his rather mild effusions
in such a magnificent setting, but he certainly made a
most attractive book. I remember when I was a boy,
there was a pawnbroker's shop in High Street, Camden
Town, where a tray full of Turner's engravings to
Rogers's poems were for sale at a penny each. All my
spare pocket money at that time used to be spent in
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER 83
Turners, and little scraps of rhyme were attached. I can
remember some of them even now. The poet enriched
his house in St. James's Place with some of the finest
and rarest pictures, busts, books, and gems. His con-
versation was said to be rich and various, abounding in
wit, eloquence, shrewd observation, and interesting per-
sonal anecdote. When quite a boy he longed for an
interview with the great Dr. Johnson, and twice pre-
sented himself at his door in Bolt Court; but the first
time he called the Doctor was out, and the second time,
after he had rung the bell, the heart of the young poet
failed him, and he ran away without waiting for the
door to open.
In September of this year a great blow fell upon
Turner. His old father died, and the painter was never
the same man again. The good parson, Mr. Trimmer,
brought him away to stay at Heston, and the family did
their best to cheer him up ; but Turner was fearfully out
of spirits and always felt his loss. In truth, it must be
admitted that the old man was, to a great extent, re-
sponsible for the education which helped to make Turner
the man he afterwards became. He taught him hard
work, he taught him thrift, he helped his art in every
possible way. Money was not plentiful in the family,
but whatever fees were wanted for tuition were always
forthcoming. Then when the boy began to make a name
and could afford to take a house with a studio, the old
barber left his shop and came to watch over his gifted
son, waiting on him and doing a hundred little useful
jobs, straining the canvases, digging the garden, doing
84 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
the marketing, even cooking the dinner at times, and
always looking after his interests in every way. The
two were always on the best of terms in their simple
frugal manage, saving the pennies, and happy in their
own way. One can fancy what a blank the cheerful,
chatty old man left, and how the dusty, untidy house
became more dismal and mouldy when he was gone.
He was buried in the parish church of St. Paul, Covent
Garden, where the painter had been baptized years be-
fore, and ( the following epitaph, evidently written by
Turner himself, was placed over the grave:
In the vault
Beneath and near this Place
are deposited the remains of
many years an inhabitant of this parish
September 2ist, 1830.
To his memory and of his wife
their son J. M. W. Turner, R.A.
has placed this Tablet
In the Royal Academy of 1831 there were seven pic-
tures, LifeboatandManby Apparatus going off to a stranded
Vessel making Signals (blue lights) of Distress, now in
the South Kensington Museum. Gorlestone Pier is in
middle distance, and the breakers are tumbling on to
the sandy shore. The old-time lifeboat, not at all the
shape of our modern craft, is struggling to reach the
wreck which sending up a rocket, is only just distin-
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER 85
guishable through the driving spray. In the foreground
are the stumps of another wreck sticking out of the sand,
and many boats and figures are dotted along high-water
Caligula's Palace and Bridge :
What now remains of all the mighty bridge
Which made the Lucrine lake an inner pool,
Caligula, but massive fragments left,
As monuments of doubt and ruined hopes
Yet gleaming in the morning's ray that tell
How Baiae's shore was loved in times gone by?
MS. Fallacies of Hope.
The rising sun is shining straight through a rent in the
palace wall, right into our very eyes; its rays shoot out
in a most real fashion through every chink and cranny,
and so long as we shut out the rest of the picture with
our hands, and look only at the ruin in the middle, the
effect is quite what one might very well see in nature.
The moment we move our hands and turn a little to the
right we come to quite a new state of things. A boy and
a girl are sitting on an unsubstantial yellow rock, lighted
by quite another sun, which (judging by the shadows
thrown upon the ground) must be very nearly behind
the spectator's 'head. This second sun must be a much
brighter one than the sun that is flashing its rays through
the palace, for the white cap and the face and neck of
the girl are as light as paint will make them. Just be-
yond, a goat is in the rays of the sun behind our heads,
but when we come to the grove of drawing-master trees,
the old state of affairs returns, the conventional foliage
86 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
standing dark and strong (except for the curious misti-
ness about the further branches) against the golden sky
of morning. In fact, Turner has turned his magic lime-
light on where his fancy prompted him, and has given
us only as much nature as he thought good for us.
I have no idea where the palace of Caligula may be,
and as for the "mighty bridge which made the Lucrine
Lake an inner pool," Turner seems to have mixed up the
Via Herculea, with the bridge of boats which the insane
Emperor threw across the Bay of Baiae, in order that he
might, clad in the armour of Alexander the Great, cele-
brate his triumph over the Parthians. The palace looks
as though it were a sort of recollection of the Palazzo di
Donna Anna, built in the seventeenth century at Posilipo,
and the piled up classic buildings on the left might have
been suggested by San Martino.
Vision of Medea:
Or Medea who in the full tide of witchery
Had lured the dragon, gained her Jason's love,
Had filled the spell-bound bowl with ^Eson's life,
Yet dashed it to the ground, and raised the poisonous snake
High in the jaundiced sky to writhe its murderous coil,
Infuriate in the wreck of hope withdrew,
And in the fired palace her twin offspring threw.
MS. Fallacies of Hope.
This is quite a figure subject, and was perhaps an
attempt to outdo Stothard. The Sorceress is represented
waving her wand and performing an incantation. The
Fates, the Twins in the dragon chariot, and behind
Medea again, throwing her children into the burning
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER 87
palace. There is not much scope for Turner's own
peculiar power, and the same may be said of Watteau
painting a Study by Fresnoy's rules,
White when it shines with unstained lustre clear
May bear an object back, or bring it near.
FRESNOY'S Art of Painting.
And also Lucy, Countess of Carlisle, and Dorothy Percy's
Visit to their father, Lord Percy , when under attainder
upon the supposition of his being concerned in the Gun-
Besides these, there were two shipping subjects,
A dmiral Van Tromp's barge at the entrance of the Texel,
1645, now in Sir John Soane's Museum, and a stranded
Man -of- War fighting. In this arduous service (of recon-
naissance) on the French coast, 1805, one f our cruisers
took the ground, and had to sustain the attack of the flying
artillery along shore, the batteries and the Fort of Vimieux,
which fired heated shot, until she could warp off at the
rising tide, which set in with all the appearance of a
stormy night (" Naval Anecdotes").
This picture is now in New York. I would be very
pleased to see it, for I lived for twenty-five years in the
corps de garde of the very fort spoken of in the title. As
children my brothers and I played on the sands where
the French flying artillery fired upon the stranded
frigate. We used to swim out to the old fort, and knew
every inch of the ground for miles round. Oddly
enough, when I was turning over Turner's sketch books
in the basement of the National Gallery, some of the first
88 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
sets of drawings I opened were outlines of this bit of
coast. Two forts stood on the rocks at low water, which
are nothing save a heap of ruins now ; but I remember
them staunch and strong, just as Turner drew them, with
the cliffs of La Cre'che as a background..
In this year, 1831, Turner went to Scotland to make
a set of twenty-four drawings for a new edition of Sir
Walter Scott's poems. He saw the Trossachs and Loch
Katrine for the first time, and went on as far as Corriskin
in Skye. This he used to declare was the grandest scene
he knew. Clambering about the steep rocks to look for
a good point of view, his foot slipped, and if it had not
been for one or two tufts of grass which he caught he
must have broken his neck.
Some of these engravings are wonderful examples of
dainty finish. Take, for example, the perfect little Stirling.
Here in a space of only five and a half inches by three,
are countless square miles of country. The Forth wind-
ing among flat meadows, the stern castle perched upon
its crag, the busy town clustered at the base, the hills
stretching away one behind the other, until at last you
lose them among the clouds. The quarry cut deep into
the rock thick with workers, some not so big as a pin's
head, yet all as right as they can be. Every fold in the
ground carefully thought out and brought into its proper
place in the scheme by subtle gradations of light and
dark. Was ever work done like this before ? Then the
exquisite vignette of Dunfermline\ what a study in
tones of the most delicate softness ! How grandly Turner
has woven the texture of his theme, now dark, now pale,
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER 89
here sharp and clear, there melting into misty vague
forms, always beautiful, and always helping towards the
perfection of the whole.
Craigmillaris another tender little glimpse of a ruined
castle standing against the sunset.
Norham^ a subject Turner was never tired of repeat-
ing, is a very delicate twilight effect; the old tower is
still lighted by the last faint glow from the sunset, whilst
the full moon rises over the hill behind it. This is much
grander than the same view drawn at an earlier time.
The beautiful little drawing of Edinburgh is quite char-
acteristic of Turner in the strange blending of two
effects, Calton Hill and Holyrood being in strong light
from a sun which must be a long way to the left, whilst
the castle and the Canongate are lighted by another
sun which stands in the sky right above them.
Another, of Fort Augustus ', is a wonderful instance of
the artist's habit of drawing his subject from two or
three different points of view. The result is that the
water appears to lie at three different levels.
Turner asked Jones what he intended to paint for
1832. "Oh," said the other, "The fiery furnace, with'
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego." " A good subject,"
said J. M. W. T.,-who always loved to pit himself against
some other painter, " I'll do it also. What size?" " Kitcat
upright." So two panels were ordered, and the two
friends set to work to paint the same subject, each in his
own way without seeing how the other did it. When the
exhibition was hung Jones's picture of the Fiery Furnace
was placed opposite to a very gray Turner of Helvoet-
90 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
sluys the City of Utrecht, 64, going to Sea. Next to
this was Constable's fussy picture of The Opening of
Waterloo Bridge. Turner stood and watched the Suffolk
painter brightening up the flags and decorations of the
city barges. After a while he went up to his own and
laid on a daub of red lead about the size of a shilling.
" He has been here and fired a gun," said Constable.
" Oh," said Cooper, " a coal has bounced across the room
from Jones's Fiery Furnace, and has set fire to Turner's
sea." This is all from Thornbury's "Life." The daub
of red lead was afterwards turned into a buoy, and it
remains to this day. The Turner picture of The Furnace,
now in the National Gallery, represents Nebuchadnezzar
on his throne beside three queens. There is a great
crowd, lit up by the glare, and in the middle a vast
Besides this there was Staffa, FingaFs cave:
Nor of a theme less solemn tells
That mighty surge that ebbs and swells,
And still between each awful pause
From the high vault an answer draws.
SIR WALTER SCOTT'S Lord of the Isles.
Breakers are dashing against the basaltic columns,
the smoke from a steamer's funnel blending with the
dark rain clouds hides the tops of the cliffs. This picture
was bought for Mr. Lenox of New York City, by C. R.
Then there was Van Tromp's shallop at the entrance
of the Scheldt, which went to the collection of Munro of
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER 91
Novar; and The Prince of Orange, William III, em-
barked from Holland and landed at Torbay, November
Ajh, 1688, after a stormy passage. The Protestant east
wind has raised quite a big swell, and in the middle of
the picture is the state barge of the prince, who is raising
his hat to some cheering sailors. Behind a three-decker
is bringing up, head to wind, and saluting, and there are
many craft beyond, some at anchor and others under
way. Though the subject and treatment might have
been suggested by Vanderveld, the colour and the
painting of the sky and water are not in the least like
that master. Turner has thrown aside the old-time blacks
and browns and heavy grays, never to return to them.
Light and brilliancy is what he tries for now. And in
Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, Italy, he is at his very best:
And now, fair Italy!
Thou art the garden of the world.
Even in thy desert what is like to thee?
Thy very weeds are beautiful, thy waste
More rich than other climes' fertility;
Thy wreck a glory and thy ruin graced
With an immaculate charm which cannot be defaced.
There is no blending of several different effects in this
picture, nor is there the least attempt to gain strength
by throwing half the subject into shadow, whilst the
other half is in sunshine. There are none of the usual
artifices of Turner.
It seems as though he had made up his mind to suc-
ceed by sheer beauty of handling and of colour, and by
92 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
nothing else. The pale blue sky, merging into the warm
haze, runs right across the subject, without break or
variation. The whole of the wonderful wooded landscape,
dotted with villas and ruins ; the little towns, perched on
their hill-tops; the horse-shoe bend of the placid river;
everything, from the ruined bridge to the distant mount-
tains, is bathed in the same golden sunshine. There is no
rainbow, no sunset or moon-rising, no storm-cloud;
simply a beautiful scene on a perfect afternoon. The
two little dancing figures are very daintily suggested;
but the rest of the foreground is quite unsubstantial and
unreal, and the stone pine one of the worst that Turner
ever painted. Could there ever be such a feeble branch
as that one on the left?
Out of all these works exhibited at the Academy only
one sold. The constant issue of engravings was the real
secret of Turner's wealth. In 1833 The Rivers of 'France ',
at first called " Turner's Annual Tour," was begun. The
letterpress was by Leitch Ritchie, author of " Heath's
Picturesque Annual." He describes the banks of the
Seine, adding many wonderful stories of Norman heroes
and heroines, with full details of the most gruesome
sieges and massacres. Turner and the author did not
travel together, as their tastes were dissimilar. Here is a
description of the artist's methods:
"His exaggerations, when it suited his purpose, were
wonderful; lifting up, for instance, by two or three
stories, the steeple, or rather the stunted cone of a
village church. I never failed to roast him on the habit.
He took my remarks in very good part, sometimes in-
LIFE OF J. M. W; TURNER . 93
deed in great glee, never attempting to defend himself
otherwise than by rolling back the war into the enemy's
camp. In my account of the famous Gilles de Retz, I
had attempted to identify that prototype of 'Blue
Beard ' with the hero of the nursery story by absurdly
insisting that his beard was so intensely black that it
seemed to have a shade of blue. This tickled the great
painter hugely; and his only reply to my bantering was,
his little sharp eyes glistening the while, ' Blue Beard !
Blue Beard! Black Beard! ' "
The drawings made for the Annual Tour are for the
most part in the National Gallery, though Ruskin had
one or two of the best. There is quite a change notice-
able in the colour, which is not so tender as in the earlier
work. Red is put in where there is red in nature, and
blue where there is blue; but it does not always seem
the right red or the right blue. The sketches seem to
be often experiments in colour rather than attempts
to render nature. Besides the change in colour, there
is a distinct falling off from the high finish, delicate
drawing and subtle tone of the Scott drawings, though
The Light Towers of the Heve; Rouen Cathedral; and
four or five of the others are quite perfect, and could
have been painted by no other hand. It is curious, con-
sidering what a very bright green province Normandy
is that Turner should never have thought of trying to
render the colours of the fields and orchards. No doubt
the fashion of the day was too strong for him, for he
never did. None of the drawings are exact copies of
actual scenes, being in some cases two or three different
94 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
views united into one subject, yet Turner has succeeded
in catching the character of the country, and also a great
deal of its beauty.
Ruskin has accused him of being blind to the fine
qualities of Gothic architecture, but the artist who could
produce that drawing of the front of Rouen Cathedral
could never have been insensible to its grandeur.
This year Turner exhibited his first picture of The
Queen of the Adriatic, Bridge of Sighs, Ducal Palace, and
Custom House, Venice Canaletti Painting. This was
one of the Vernon Collection, and is now in the National
Gallery. It is not at all the vague Dream City of his
later time; but a rather matter-of-fact, topographical
sort of a view, as though it were intended to rival the
painter who is represented at work on a raft on the left.
It does not strike one as a great success, partly, no
doubt, because of the straight line of the Ducal Palace,
which runs right across the composition in the most
prosaic way, just as though it were a builder's plan,
except that the builder would have drawn his walls up-
right. Of course the picture is a blend of at least two
different points of view, St. Marc's is painted as it
appears from the Baccino in front of St. Giorgio Mag-
giore, whilst the Dogana di Mare is evidently drawn
from a spot some way up the Giudecca Canal. The
effect, too, is rather commonplace, blue sky overhead,
and the building in a kind of half sunlight. There was
also the Ducal Palace, Venice, a view looking across the
Piazetta, and introducing the two columns of St. Marc
and St. Giorgio. Then there was a subject evidently
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER 95
painted at the time he was illustrating the " Rivers of
France " Mouth of the Seine Quelle bceuf.
" This estuary is so dangerous from its quicksands, that
any vessel taking the ground, is liable to be stranded and
overwhelmed by the rising tide, which rushes in in one
Beside these, there were three Netherland subjects
the Rotterdam Ferry Boat, Van Goyen looking out for a
Subject; and Van Tromp returning after the Battle of the
Dogger Bank. This year Finden's Landscape and Portrait
Illustrations to the " Life and Works of Lord Byron,"
was published. There were drawings of Gibraltar, Malta,
the Acropolis, Temple of Minerva, Rhodes, Cephalonia,
In 1834 Turner exhibited two fanciful pictures, The
Fountain of Indolence; which is represented as crowded
with sporting Loves and Cupids; while in the distance is a
lake and a temple ; and in the foreground a figure, with
a fishing-rod, lying at the foot of some tall trees. This
work is now in New York. The second is based on the
myth that Lake Avernus was the overflowing of Acheron,
and one of the entrances to Hades, and that a bough
plucked from the tree of Proserpine would enable mortals
to enter the dominions of Pluto. It was called The
Golden Bough, and a quotation from " The Fallacies of
Hope" was sent with it; but the Council at the Academy,
for some reason, suppressed the lines, though they left
the name of the poem, which should have gone at the
foot. The real Lake Avernus is almost completely
circular, for it is, in fact, the crater of an extinct vol-
96 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
cano. This shape did not take Turner's fancy, and he -
has altered it a good deal, putting in a temple and the
conventional pine-tree, beneath which are reclining
figures. On the left is another classic person with a
sickle, holding the golden bough, and standing by a pool.
There was also The Grand Canal, Venice, a very much
better picture than the one of the year before, and also
more true to nature. We are looking out towards the
sea from the entrance of the canal ; on the right are the
Dogana and the steps of Santa Maria della Salute; to
the left are the Ducal Palace and St. Marc, whilst the
calm water is crowded with queer vessels of all sorts.
Thornbury tells how one varnishing day, Jones, who had
a picture with a blue sky in it, tried to paint it brighter,
to make it strong enough to stand Turner's Venetian
picture, which hung alongside. Turner, who saw what
was going on, made his sky more blue too, so Jones, who
thought that he would get the worst of the battle,
painted out the blue sky and filled in a white one. " Ah,
Joney, you have done me now," said Turner, and put on
no more cobalt.
Then Wreckers coast of Northumberland, with a
steamboat assisting a ship off shore, now in Pittsburg;
and St. Michael's Mount, Cornwall; a very striking view
of the rock standing high above the shining sand in the
misty sunlight. There are all sorts of queer, distorted
craft stranded on the crowded foreshore, and fishermen,
in striped nightcaps and petticoat trousers, are landing
the catch. This picture is in the South Kensington
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER 97
Thornbury tells how one day Gillott, the pen manu-
facturer, went to the enchanted house in Queen Anne
Street: "Arrived at the blistered, dirty door of the
house with the black crusted windows, he pulled the
bell, which answered with a querulous, melancholy
tinkle. After a long, inhospitable pause, an old woman,
with a diseased face, having looked up from the area,
presently ascended and tardily opened the door. She
snappishly asked Mr. Gillott's business; and when he
told her in his blandest voice, ' Can't let 'e in,' was the
answer; after which she tried to slam the door. But
during the parley the crafty and determined Dives had
put his foot in ; and now, declining farther interruption,
he pushed past the feeble, enraged janitress, and hurried
upstairs to the gallery. In a moment Turner was out
upon him with the promptitude of a spider whose web
has been invaded by another arachnid. Mr. Gillott
bowed, introduced himself, and stated that he had come
to buy. * Don't want to sell/ or some such rebuff was the
answer; but Gillott shut his ears to all Turner's angry
vituperations. ' Have you ever seen our Birmingham
pictures, Mr. Turner?' he inquired with unruffled pla-
cidity. * Never 'eard of em,' was the answer. Gillott now
drew from his pocket a silvery, fragile bundle of Bir-
mingham banknotes (about 4,000 worth). ' Mere paper/
observed Turner with grim humour; a little softened,
however, and evidently enjoying the joke. * To be
bartered for mere canvas/ said Gillott, waving his hand
at the Building of Carthage and its companions. This
tone of cool depreciation seemed to have a happy effect.
98 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
'You're a rum fellow!' exclaimed the painter; after
which he was induced gradually to enter into negotia-
tions, which finally resulted in the deportation in Gillott's
cab of some $,ooo worth of Turner's pictures. It was
the manufacturers, as I have said, and not the noblemen
of England, who were Turner's best patrons."
" On another occasion, according to Mr. Birch, Turner
enumerated to Dives various books of sketches that he
possessed, and several of which he produced. They are
now national property. They were coloured memoranda,
valuable as jewels, embracing notes in pencil and chalk ;
blue gleams of sea and sky ; wafts of mist, ochrey sails,
and white, frozen waves of Alps. To the eager merchant
these were exhibited with a certain savagely selfish
satisfaction, such as that wherewith an ill-conditioned old
maid exhibits the family diamonds to her poor but
pretty niece, or an affluent antiquary sets forth his
cameos before a juvenile collector. Turner's delight was
expressed by many a chuckle distributed through the
interview, during which it was his study to tantalize the
inflamed spectator in every possible way; and such was
his amiability on the occasion that he even induced him
to make several offers. But it was only playing at busi-
ness; Turner simply was amusing himself by observing
the mercury rise again in the well-known price barometer.
. . . The offers gradually mounted to the large sum of a
thousand pounds apiece; when, after deliberately clos-
ing them one by one and laying them aside, he pro-
ceeded to inquire, 'Well, would you like to have them?'
'Yes, yes!' was the answer, returned with all the im-
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER 99
petuosity characteristic of one burning to secure his
treasures. * I dare say you would ! ' was the final exclama-
tion, to which a slily malicious laugh lent not a little
point by way of aggravation."
In 1835 there were Keelmen heaving in Coals by Night,
a Tyne subject, the moon with a path of glittering water
under it, and many vessels loading by torchlight; The
Broad Stone of Honour^ Ehrenbreitstein, and Tombe of
Marceau, from Byron's "Child Harold ":
He was Freedom's champion.
Here Ehrenbreitstein with her shattered wall
Yet shows of what she was.
By Coblentz on a rise of gentle ground,
There is a small and simple pyramid
Crowning the summit of the verdant mound;
Beneath its base are Hero's ashes laid,
Our enemy's but let not that forbid
Honour to Marceau. . . .
The Rhine at its junction with the Moselle, the fortress,
the town, and bridge, with crowds of figures, and the full
moon rising in a sunset-flushed sky.
Venice from the porch of Madonna delta Salute; another
view of the Grand Canal crowded with boats and gon-
dolas. This picture is now in the Metropolitan Museum,
Line Fishing off Hastings; the clouds are low down
and hide the upper part of the cliffs here and there. The
way in which the ground is modelled and drawn is quite
perfect. The long backbone of the ridge is lost and
found again in twenty ways, each different from the
ioo LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
others; the sky is as real as it can be, and the town
dotted on the side of the slope is beautiful. But as we
turn' to the nearer objects, we may see that they are
not nearly so well done. A dreadful old brig is sailing
towards us very much out, both in drawing and propor-
tion. There is a very slight attempt made to render
either the boats or the choppy waves, and how those
reflections come to be exactly under the objects
throwing them, in all that lumpy water, heaven only
The last picture this year was The Burning of the
Houses of Lords and Commons ', October i6tk, 1834. Here
is a part of a letter written by Scarlett Davies at the
time : " Turner has painted a large picture of the Burn-
ing of the Two Houses of Parliament; but I have heard
it spoken of as a failure a devil of a lot of chrome.
He finished it on the walls the last two days before the
gallery opened to the public. I am told it was good fun
to see the great man whacking away with about fifty
stupid apes standing round him, and I understand he
was cursedly annoyed the fools kept peeping into his
colour-box and examining all his brushes and colours."
Later on he says, speaking of some Turner drawings, " I
can assure you a treat. There are parts of some of them
wonderful, and by God all other drawings look heavy
In the British Institution Turner exhibited another
picture with the same title. Both were taken from the
Surrey side of the water, and show the bridge and the
towers of Westminster Abbey.
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER 101
A wonderful personage now comes into our story, no
less a figure than the future Slade Professor of Art, John
Ruskin, the son of a wealthy wine merchant, who had
resolved that his boy should have everything that money
could buy, or education bestow. In 1836, when only
seventeen, and still a gentleman commoner of Christ
Church, Oxford, Ruskin wrote for Blackwood a fervid
defence of Turner's pictures. Perhaps this was the dawn
of his florid imagination and gorgeous imagery.
It seems he first submitted his article to the artist,
who, however, when he had read through it, never even
took the trouble to forward it on to the magazine. In
fact, we do not even know if Turner cared to do as
much as to glance at it. It is quite clear that all Ruskin's
extravagant rhetoric in praise of h-is work gave the artist
no pleasure. " He knows a great deal more about my
pictures than I do. He puts things into my head and
points out meanings in them, that I never intended,"
was all that Turner would say. Later on Ruskin went
to France and Italy to recover from a love passion. He
had met, when very young, a beautiful French lady, and
wooed her by writing poems, romances, and dramas, but
his mute worship was not to her taste, and, after treating
the poet with coldness, indifference, and ridicule, the gay
beauty at last married an older man, and the youth took
his degree, and then poured out his soul in a more
elaborate defence of his hero, Turner. " Modern Painters,
vol. i., by a Graduate of Oxford," made a great sensa-
tion. The flow of sonorous words strung into beautiful
sentences, won over many who were quite blind to the
102 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
splendid colour and gorgeous imagination of the queer
and eccentric old man of Queen Anne Street.
No doubt the Philistines of that time were by slow
degrees brought to think there might be some hidden
good in the experimental essays of the painter, which
were often misunderstood, or looked on as " little better
than the freaks of a gifted madman." By a curious
coincidence, the more Ruskin laboured to make the in-
different British public admire Turner's work, the more
difficult did the task become. The painter, as he grew
older, became more daring and original, sometimes dash-
ing in a mere impression of some passing effect, or
perhaps, more often, a weird combination of strange tints
and colours. This was made more incomprehensible by
the unsubstantiality of the foreground. It was given, by
way of title, an incoherent verse of strange and vague
import, peculiar for what Gilbert Hamerton calls " a sort
of thunderous grandeur."
The burning enthusiasm of Ruskin is a wonderful
thing to look back upon ; he was so full of energy and
courage, this gentleman commoner of seventeen. One
wonders that he should have thought that the Great
Royal Academician (then at the height of honour and
fame among his brother artists) required any help to
stand as the greatest of them all. I suppose the truth is
that Ruskin, having naturally great taste, and a power of
distinguishing good from indifferent art, and having also
a wonderful gift of writing enchanting prose, felt that
he must burst into rapture over something, and so chose
the creations of Turner's brain and hand as the most
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER 103
worthy of praise. Unfortunately, in his zeal and energy,
Ruskin has been carried far beyond the truth, and gives
us a fabulous Turner about as unlike the real man as
can be. To make out that Turner was a neglected
genius, and that the noblest intellect of his time never
met with a single word or ray of sympathy that all
the world was turned against him is simply absurd.
When we come to descriptions of the pictures, we meet
such words as the following: "J. M. W.Turner is the
only man who has ever given an entire transcript of the
whole system of nature." This is impossible nonsense.
The writer's eloquence and devotion have carried him
much too far. I am afraid I also have gone on a little too
far; for whilst telling of Ruskin in 1836, 1 have somehow
got on to " Modern Painters," which was not published
until 1843. More than this, I have quoted some words
written in the fifties.
Let us, therefore, get back to our period, and to the
dismal house in Queen Anne Street. Here are some
quotations from Thornbury: "The gallery latterly got
most dilapidated. The oiled paper of the skylight hung
in black sooty furred slips. The damp here and there
had free access, and many of the pictures suffered. In
one picture a white button of paint that had stood for
the sun had dropped off. ' I think some one has picked it
off intentionally/ said Mr. Goodall. ' I think some one
has/ replied Turner, quite unmoved. The drugget, once
red, was gray and threadbare, the red cloth on the walls,
marked all over with tack holes, had been bought by
Turner a bargain."
104 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
" Against the wall there were heaps of dirty frames
and stacks of dusty pictures, with their faces turned in-
ward. As for the sofa, it seemed dangerous to your
future peace to rest on it."
" The sordid and unhappy-looking room was remark-
able for a dusty, dirty buffet, in which was the imme-
morial sherry bottle with the broken cork and one glass.
' It ought to be good/ said Turner, ' it 's the same bottle
you tasted before/ This was a year ago. The drawing-
room was peopled by filthy tailless cats, pets of the old
" In this sordid den were all the thirty thousand proofs
of engravings rotting and mouldering, uncared for by
anyone but the cats, who hid behind them."
" Bligh Sand, the well-known picture in the National
Gallery, was also useful to the pussies, for it was placed
against a broken window, their private entrte, and by
squeezing past it they passed in and out at their own
In 1836 the exhibited pictures are all Italian subjects.
Juliet and her Nurse is really a moonlight view of the
Piazza of St. Mark, crowded with people, and seen from
the roof of a building. Close by is the Church of St. Mark
and the Ducal Palace. San Giorgio is seen across the
water, where the boats are letting off rockets. This was
one of the Munroe collection, and is now in New York.
Rome from Mount Aventine is also one of the Munroe
pictures. It shows the Forum and the Coliseum, and
there are figures and goats in the foreground.
Mercury and Argus is an upright composition. The
;:'i ; JFf
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER 105
setting sun is shining brightly over a lake studded with
islands, and ringed by white buildings. The Turner tree
stands almost in the centre, and beyond is a Tuscan
town perched upon a wooded crag and seen in sharp
perspective, as though one were standing close under it.
The two classic personages, who give the title to the
work, are sitting on a slope, close to two streams. lo, the
white cow, drinks from one of them, and there are other
cattle dotted about. This is quite the typical Turner of
the thirties. There is everything in it that we have learnt
to expect: the subject from the heathen mythology;
the scene a fifteenth-century Italian town, standing
white against the sky, whilst a brilliant sun sets beyond
it ; the wonderful fairylike grottoes and cascades showing
half hidden among the trees; the beautiful mountains
stretching away ridge beyond ridge, until lost in im-
measurable distance; the noble sky; the tall drawing-
master tree (this time, by the way, it is quite well
drawn), all are here.
Munro, of Novar, having fallen into a great depression
of spirits which would not be shaken off, Turner sug-
gested a trip abroad, and the two friends started off to
Chamouni. Munro found (as he told Thornbury) that
Turner enjoyed himself in his way a sort of honest
Diogenes way and if you bore with this, it was easy to
get on, very pleasantly, with him, so that they even talked
of going on to the East. What the painter disliked was
teasing questions as to how he got this or that colour.
Once in the Val d'Aosta he got into trouble with a
sketch, which he altered and sponged till it became
io6 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
an unpleasant whitey green. He became quite fretful,
saying, " I could have done twice as much with the
"Have you got the sponge?" he would say every
morning. Turner never rhapsodized about scenery.
He would climb to some distance from his friend, and
set to work in a silent, concentrated frame of mind. He
used no maulstick ; his touch being sure and decisive. On
this tour the sketch for The Avalanche was taken, one of
the grand pictures of the Munro collection.
He had a commission for a view of Modern Rome> and
Sir Charles Eastlake was surprised when he saw the
trouble Turner had taken to get everything quite in its
right place the Tiber and all the antiquities. He had
been asked for a copy, not for an ideal picture. Turner
also went on to Venice to make a drawing, but brought
back a large picture that Munro never liked. However,
the latter sold it a few years afterwards for a great deal
more than he gave.
The two friends came homeward by way of Turin.
Next year at the British Institution there was exhibited
Regulus, sometimes called Regulus leaving Rome, and
sometimes Regulus leaving Carthage; though it does not
matter much which we call it, for I expect the picture is
not in the least like either place. The sun is sinking in
a blaze of light, and the path of glitter on the choppy
sea is wonderfully real ; one almost feels inclined to shade
one's eyes when looking at it. There is a great pile of
classic buildings (modern classic they seem) and hun-
dreds of figures, some bathing, others pushing off in odd-
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER 107
shaped galleys, whilst on the left light towers and
castles stretch away into the haze. I notice in one corner
some men are rolling a big barrel. I suppose this is
symbolical of the tub, with the nails inside, with which
poor Regulus was done to death; a small picture this,
and quite a good one.
In the Academy, Turner showed Story of Apollo and
Daphne Ovid's " Metamorphoses."
Sure is my bow, unerring is my dart,
But ah ! more deadly his who pierced my heart.
As when th^impatient greyhound slipt from far,
Bounds o'er the glebe to course the fearful hare;
She in her speed does all her safety lay ;
And he with double speed pursues the prey.
This is a view looking down the vale of Tempe to the
sea. The arc aqueducts and lines of columns dotted over
the plain, and on each side tall mountains, wooded thickly
and with cascades dashing out from among the under-
growth. Two of Turner's pear-shaped trees stand in the
middle distance by the margin of a stream, and in the
foreground Apollo and Daphne are watching a grey-
hound coursing 'a hare I suppose a symbol of the pur-
suit of the nymph by the Sun-God. Cupid had shot a
golden shaft into the heart of Apollo, but Daphne was
only wounded with the leaden dart of distrust and dis-
like. There are many other figures sitting about among
the carved blocks of stone, and the picture has a little of
the artificial character of a drop scene.
io8 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
The Parting of Hero and Leander -from the Greek of
The morning came too soon, with crimsoned blush,
Chiding the tardy night and Cynthia's warning beam;
But Love yet lingered on the terraced steep,
Upheld young Hymen's torch and failing lamp,
The token of departure, never to return.
Wild dashed the Hellespont its straitened surge,
And on the raised spray appeared Leander's fall.
The moon is shining in a stormy sky and the dawn just
appearing. Two women are standing on the terrace of
a palace by the sea, waving a torch to light Hero, who
is bending over her lover, already up to his knees in
water. Beside these are cupids and sea-nymphs, and
beyond, the rocky islands of the Hellespont.
Scene. A Street in Venice.
Antonio. Hear me yet, good Shylock.
Shylock. I'll have my bond.
Merchant of Venice, Act III, Sc. 3.
This picture is really a view of the Grand Canal, looking
towards the Rialto. There are many palaces, crowds of
boats and figures, the Doge's state barge with a pro-
cession landing with torches, and amongst the monks
and nuns are seen the Jew waving the bond at Antonio
and Salarino who stands below him. All three of these
pictures are now in the National Gallery, so I suppose
they were not sold in the Exhibition, the Snow-storm,
Avalanche and Inundation A Scene in the upper part of
the Val d'Aout, Piedmont, went into the collection of
Munro of Novar.
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER 109
There are two portraits of Turner about this time.
Linnell shows him in the fantastic full dress of the period,
red velvet waistcoat, dandy coat with velvet collar, and a
high wall of stiff, black, satin stock, the ends cascading
down over his shirt front and fastened with a red coral
breast-pin. A hat with the nap carefully brushed the
wrong way was also said to be one of his characteristics.
Mr. Trimmer also gives us his picture in words. " There
was that peculiar keenness of expression in his eye that
is only seen in men of constant habits of observation.
He dressed in black with black gaiters, and though neat
was not smart. He was retired in his habits, sensitive in
his feelings, fond of children, and an excessively kind-
Here is another description : " At first sight Turner
gave me the notion of a mean-looking little man. In
descending a hill while out once on a sketching ramble,
he snapped a tendon Achilles, and the enforced limping
about thereafter with a stick did not add to his appear-
ance. But all this wore off. To be appreciated he re-
quired to be known. Though not polished he was not
vulgar. In common with many men of genius he had
not a good flow of words ; and when heated in argument,
got confused, especially, I am told, in his lectures on
Perspective, though he was a master of his subject."
Gilbert Hamerton says : " Though unpolished, even
positively uncivilised, Turner had a nobility of heart as
much above ordinary gentlemanhood as true poetry is
above mere versification."
The following oracular utterance appears to have been
no LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
written for one of his lectures on perspective at the Royal
" Reflections not only appear darker but larger than
the object which occasions them; and if the ripple or
hollow of the wave is long enough to make an angle with
the eye, it is on these undulating lines that the object
reflects, and transmits all perpendicular objects lower
towards the spectator; but in receding lines, as well as
objects, rules seem to lose their power, and those guides
that enable us to find some cause for near objects, lose
their power or become enfeebled by contraction in re-
mote ones. It has been asserted that all appear equal
from the base line of the water; but these axioms I dis-
sent from. It is true that by placing the eye equal to the
water it comes up to the rules laid down ; but when the
water is ruffled on which all things are to be reflected, it
is no longer in right angles, but according to the elevation
of the spectator becomes more or less an angle of in-
cidence. If the undulating surface of the liquid did not,
by current or motion, congregate forms there would be
no difficulty in simplifying the rules."
Is not this a wonderfully involved piece of reasoning?
One may read it over and over again, but still it is im-
possible to make out what the professor was trying to
demonstrate. Then the strange theory about rules which
lose their power and become enfeebled, and the fantastic
statement that by placing the eye equal to the water it
comes up to the rules laid down, shows clearly that
Turner had a mind quite incapable of understanding the
laws which govern the reflection of objects in moving
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER in
water. Of course he had great powers of observation,
and his brain must have been full of facts recorded and
stored up in his retentive memory ; but the moment he
tried to marshal his facts or find a reason for the phe-
nomena he knew so well, he was quite at fault.
Nevertheless, there can be no doubt that Turner's old
master, Tom Malton, must have thoroughly grounded his
unpromising pupil; for it must be remembered that Turner
was impenetrably dull when he attended the modest
little perspective school in Long Acre. And though
brought back to Maiden Lane as a boy who would never
do anything, the future professor went once more to
work and tried again. He must have learnt the practice
of perspective in the end, for no one could have con-
structed imaginative pictures such as Regulus, or Dido
Building Carthage^ without a thorough knowledge of the
subject. I am afraid his lectures must have been very hard
to understand, notwithstanding the great pains he took
to make them intelligible by means of very elaborate
This year, 1837, the Series of Views in " England and
Wales," which had met with so little favour that it had
to be discontinued at the twenty-fourth part, was given
to Messrs. Southgate for sale by auction, but Turner
stepped in and bought the whole privately at the re-
served price of 3,000. There were a great many buyers
prepared to purchase portions of the work, and going up
to one of them, a Mr. Bohn, the artist said : " So, sir,
you were going to buy my * England and Wales/ to sell
cheap, I suppose make umbrella prints of them, eh?
ii2 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
But I have taken care of that. No more of my plates
shall be worn to shadows." The dealer tried to explain
that he only wanted the printed stock, and Turner said he
didn't want it, saying, " I only want to keep the coppers
out of your clutches." So Bohn was told he might come
to breakfast next morning if he wanted to deal. Next
day, however, Turner had forgotten all about the break-
fast, and would not hear of anything less than 3,000
for the prints alone.
In 1838 there were four pictures, one the famous
Phryne going to the Public Bath as Venus Demosthenes
taunted by ^Eschines. This is a wonderful procession of
dancing girls madly throwing a white cupid into the air
and pirouetting down into a valley. The lady who gives
her name to the picture is seen seated in a shell-shaped
car drawn by cupids, and she is also symbolized in the
foreground by a dog playing with a globe a suggestion
of the beautiful courtesan's sport with the Athenian
world. There is a lake, and the portico of a temple with
the usual Turner trees. The whole is woven into a be-
wildering maze of light and colour. Drawing is neglected,
and the most audacious expedients resorted to, increasing
the brilliancy and the movement of the throng. Some of
the faces are white, with vermilion shadows. The head
of Demosthenes is twisted out of all likeness to human
form. In fact, everything is sacrificed to colour, not the
colour of nature, but the tints of some strange dream, in
which all is unreal and unsubstantial. Turner was sixty-
three now, and with advancing years was throwing the
old conventions to the wind, and becoming more and
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER 113
more impressionistic, and less and less easy to under-
stand. Besides the Phryne there were Modern Italy
suggested by Tivoli; The Pifferari; and Ancient Italy
Ovid banished from Rome, both painted for Monro of
Novar. Here is a photo-block from the former picture,
which was engraved by Miller, who kept one of Turner's
letters, written whilst the plate was yet unfinished.
October 22, 1841.
MY DEAR SIR,
So much time (for I only returned from Scotland last
night) since your letter and the arrival of the proof (for Mr.
Moon has only sent one), that I hope you have proceeded with
the plate, in which case it is evident you must take off three
and mark the two for me, if you adopt the same medium of
transfer; but, I would say, send them direct. My remarks
would be wholly yours, and some inconvenience to both
avoided. If you have not done anything, take off one for me.
So now to business.
It appears to me that you have ... so far, that I do think
I could now recollect sufficiently without the picture before
me, but will now write points out and answer your questions,
viz., if the sky you . . . right, you could advance more con-
fidently; therefore, do not touch the sky at present, but work
the rest up to it. The distance may be too dark, though it
wants more fine .work, more character of woods down to the
very Campagna of Rome, a bare sterile flat much lighter in
The question of a perpendicular line to this water pray do
not think of it until after the very last touched proof, for it has
a beautiful quality of silvery softness which is only checked by
the rock, which is the most unfortunate in the whole plate.
How to advise you here I know not but think fine work would
ii4 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
blend the scene with the reflection of it in the water. This is
the worst part, and, I fear, will give us some trouble to con-
quer; and if you can make it take the water in the middle of
the plate I should like it better. The houses above, and par-
ticularly from the figures, and the parts from and with the boys
looking down, are what I most fear about, which range all
along the south, and the broken entrance and the shrine want
more vigour to detach from the town all the corner figures,
etc. The foreground will be required to be more spirited and
bold, open work dashing . . . like touches and bright lights.
So, do all you can in the middle part . . . town, and leave it
all for the present in front. The figure in front would be better
with the white cloth over the face done with one line only;
and perhaps a child wrapped up in swaddling-clothes before
her would increase the interest of the whole. The ground on
which she kneels break into small pebbles or broken pave-
ment. Now for the good parts. The greatest part of the sky,
all the left side, the upper castles and palaces and partly round
the sybil temple, town, and ... on the right side, and the
water in the middle, particularly good, and I hope to keep it
untouched if possible.
I am glad to hear you say I can know the picture after the
first touched proof, and trust this long letter of directions will
be equal to one, and you will be able to proceed with confid-
ence. Write if you feel any difficulty, and believe me, truly
J. M. W. TURNER.
P.S. Very sorry to hear of the loss you have sustained.
As I write I have before me a print of Miller's plate
and a photograph from the picture itself. It is very in-
teresting to go bit by bit over the two and to notice how
painter and engraver worked together, for the plate is
much more a translation than a copy. Many of the de-
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER 115
tails are altered, often, I dare say, by Turner's own
directions. One may notice that he asks that his own
unsubstantial foreground may be made more spirited
and bold, and accordingly Miller has made it much more
solid and firm than it is in the picture. It seems rather
odd that the engraver should be asked to add extra
figures babes in swaddling clothes. I see that he carried
out the idea, and also put one more arch to the aqueduct
on the left. The painting is very fine in colour. I re-
member taking a Belgian artist to see it some years
ago. He had never seen any of Turner's work before,
and the first thing he said was: "Mais c'est un im-
pressioniste ! "
The Ancient Italy is quite the classic composition of
this time of Turner's career. The sun is setting right in
the middle, over the Pons Aelius, and a bright path of
glitter shines down the Tiber almost to our feet. A great
pile of Roman buildings rises on the left, terrace above
terrace, with many columns, statues, and triumphal
arches. There are crowds of figures and boats. On the
shore, in the foreground, are vases and rich furniture, with
a sarcophagus and a screw jack, and on the other side
of the river the tomb of Hadrian and three tall columns,
and, nearer, a round temple with a tile roof, very like
San Stefano, once called Tempio di Vesta, which stands
by the Cloaca Maxima. Turner seems to have moved
them up stream and placed both on the other bank of
the Tiber. They are painted as though in bright sun-
light, but real rays could never be so twisted round the
corner from the sun which is setting in the middle of
ii6 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
the picture. Then Ovid, who is shown on the shore,
lived in the time of Augustus, and could hardly have
seen the tomb of Hadrian, which was not built until at
least a hundred years later. The tile roof on the temple
is of course a modern addition, and was not in place in
the old Roman times.
I am not suggesting that all these anachronisms make
Turner's pictures less worthy of our admiration, for
the qualities which make a really fine work of art
are quite apart from mere historical correctness, or,
for that matter, literal truth to nature. Turner cared
not a jot for either the one or the other. He hardly
ever tried to produce a transcript of any scene just as it
appeared to the eye. As I have said many times in this
history, his work as a whole is almost always untrue to
nature. His light and shade is very seldom correct. His
tones are almost always wrong. For instance, he often
paints white sails or buildings up against a sunset, which
is a thing impossible, and as for his colour, however it
may be blended and harmonized into a beautiful whole,
one can hardly say that it is the colour we see in nature.
Then his drawing (though no man could draw better
than Turner when he wished) was often quite grotesque.
We may find features either squeezed together into one
corner of a face or slanting diagonally across it like
handwriting. Anatomy in many cases is quite dis-
regarded, and as for proportion! We can only say that,
more often than not, it is altogether absent. Take, for
instance, these men-o'-war in the drawing opposite.
They are quite as though modelled in putty, and the
: ; :*?* -v
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER 117
press of sail has twisted them into lopsided monstrosities,
utterly unlike any craft that ever put to sea.
What, then, do we admire in Turner's work? And why
do we place him in the very front of all as a painter? I
think the real secret of his power lies in his knowledge
of what is essential to the making of pure art. He knew
exactly what to do so that his work should appeal to
the mind. He suggested the beauty of nature and its
infinity, without trying to make an actual copy. Never
has the profusion and never-ending variety of this won-
derful world of ours been brought to our senses as per-
fectly as in the immeasurable stretches of hill and dale,
winding river, and pale, far-distant ocean of Turner's
A party of the Academy Club were going down to
Greenwich, when their steamer passed an old battleship
in tow. " There J s a fine subject for you, Turner," said
Stanfield, and the result was The Fighting Temtraire
tugged to her last Berth to be broken up, 1838.
The flag which braved the battle and the breeze
No longer owns her.
Here nature has been thrown aside altogether. There is
no attempt to paint a single thing as it really appears.
The place where the sun is setting is the darkest part of
the sky. The three-decker is not the sturdy structure of
heart-of-oak and hemp which pushed its way into the
thick of the enemy's line at Trafalgar. It is a diaphanous
spectre of mist and moonbeams rigged with cobweb;
whilst the tug is the most misshapen craft ever painted
n8 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
mast, funnel, and paddleboxes are jumbled into a confused
mass. As I said a page or so back, mere truth to nature
is not essential, provided that some of the beauties which
abound in nature may be at least suggested. In this
case I think the beauties are only in the choice of the
subject, and in the expression of the sentiment that such
a scene must always produce. Ruskin says : " The paint-
ing of the Teme'raire was received with a general feeling
of sympathy. No abusive voice, so far as I remember,
was ever raised against it. And the feeling was just; for
of all pictures of subjects not visibly involving human
pain, this is, I believe, the most pathetic that was ever
painted." Pages by the hundred have been written on
this one picture, and some of the writers have put down
a great deal of nonsense. The statements of Thornbury
are the most untrustworthy; First, he states that the
" Temdraire " was a prize taken at the battle of the Nile,
whilst the truth is that she was built on the Medway at
Frindsbury. Then he goes on to say that she was the
second ship in Collingwood's division, whilst, as a matter
of fact, she was in Nelson's column. Later, he states that
the " TemeVaire," like a staunch comrade, fell on board the
"Redoubtable," but James's "Naval History " asserts that
the "Redoubtable" ran into the " T6me"raire." In the
"Athenaeum" he writes: "The crown and paragon of
the collection is the Fighting Temeraire tugged to her
last Berth, which stands out from amongst them as a
great flame-coloured Mexican cactus, the very emperor
of flowers, would do in a nosegay of simple primroses.
We place it first of all his works, because it excels in
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER 119
colour all landscapes, we might almost say, in the world
we place it first because it excels in colour, and it was
as a colourist that Turner excelled almost all painters."
Here is another bit of Thornbury's: " Grand and warrior-
like, stern, like an unconquered veteran, proud of trophy
and scar, the ' Te'me'raire ' moves on with its lance-like
masts erect, its broad, pale, spectral hull looming stupen-
dous and threatening over a water red as with the blood
of past battles." Though, as regards painting, the picture
was by no means up to Turner's best work, its sentiment
caused a great stir. One purchaser, who had gone into
the gallery, early, was so struck by the poetry and beauty
of the Turner that he went instantly to Queen Anne
Street, where he had a long and interesting interview
with the artist, who, though he stated that the Te'me'-
raire was his 200 guineas size, could not be induced
to put any price upon it. No doubt he had made up
his mind to bequeath it to the nation. On Varnishing
Day, Geddes, who had a portrait hung over the Thne-
raire, seeing that his picture suffered by the glowing
colours of the sunset below, resolved to paint a bright
Turkey carpet. He laid in the lower part of his work
with vermilion and went away. By-and-by up came
Turner, who saw at once what had been done and ex-
claiming: "Oh, ho, Mr. Geddes!" rushed off for his
pallet knife, with which he loaded on orange, scarlet and
Ancient Rome, Agrippina landing with the Ashes of
Germanicus, the Triumphal Bridge and Palace of the
120 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
The clear stream,
Aye, the yellow Tiber, glimmers to her beam,
Even while the sun is setting.
This is one of the vague, indefinite visions of his late
period, a most splendid scheme of colour; the full moon
sails in a sky all flushed with the glory of the setting
sun, and the palaces are a-glow with pale crimson, the
foreground and the gilded galleys are in shadow, and a
mist hangs over the river where it rushes through the
arches. " You might as well have opened a window
under my picture ! " said Northcote, who had a very
dark subject. Turner has been abused because the real
landing took place at Brundusium and not at Rome, but
he might just as well have called this wonderful dream-
city Brundusium ; it would suit quite as well.
Modern Rome Campo Vaccino.
The moon is up, and yet it is not night,
The sun as yet divides the day with her.
This is another view of the Tiber from the right bank.
There is a tree and some figures, and in the distance
St. Peter's and the Vatican.
Besides these pictures there were Pluto Carrying off
Proserpine (Ovid's " Metamorphoses "), a rock crowned
with buildings, cascades, rocks, and sculptured slabs ; and
a picture of Cicero at his villa. The Fountain of Fallacy
was shown in the British Institution.
Its Rainbow dew diffused fell on each anxious lip,
Working wild fantasy, imagining
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER 121
First Science in the immeasurable
Abyss of thought,
Measured her orbit slumbering.
MS. Fallacies of Hope.
The next year Turner exhibited seven pictures.
Bacchus and A riadne, the first, was circular in shape, and,
strangely enough, he has taken the figures out of Titian's
great picture in the National Gallery, and has transposed
them into a classic scene of his own. The tall, dark, pear-
shaped tree is here, also the sun setting in a blaze of
light and reflected in the still water. There are arched
rocks, wooded hills, and ruined temples, with more
sculptured stones right in the foreground. But one
wonders what Titian's nymphs and deities are doing in
Venice The Bridge of Sighs.
I stood upon a bridge, a palace and a prison on each hand.
This is not at all a sombre picture; both the ducal
palace and the prison are as bright as they can be.
There are plenty of gay ladies in queer-shaped boats all
doing nothing in particular unless perhaps they may be
trying to group themselves to set off the white buildings.
The best thing' in the whole composition is the peep up
the Rio della Paglia, and indeed one cannot help feeling
that if the greater part of the two sides were cut away,
leaving only the little canal and the two bridges with
their reflections in the water, the whole picture would
be very much improved.
Venice from the Canale della Giudecca, Chiesa di
122 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
5. Maria delta Salute, etc. This is a much better
arranged subject than the last. The Bridge of Sighs is
again seen nearly in the middle of the picture, but this
time it is much further off, and the whole front of the
Doges' palace, and behind the tower of St. Mark's drawn
very much slimmer than the real bell tower was. This
went into the collection of John Sheepshank, and is now
at South Kensington.
There was a nightmare of a picture: Slavers throwing
overboard the Dead and Dying Typhoon coming on.
Aloft all hands, strike the topmasts and belay;
Yon angry setting sun and fierce-edged clouds
Declare the Typhoon's coming.
Before it sweeps your decks throw overboard
The dead and dying ne'er heed their chains.
Hope, Hope, fallacious Hope!
Where is thy market now?
MS. Fallacies of Hope.
Here there is the red sunset that the painter is said to
have always introduced when he wished to suggest
bloodshed and death. The ship is sailing away and a
long lines of slaves are struggling in the sea among the
sharks and gulls, and throwing up their fettered limbs.
It would have been very horrible had it been painted in
more realistic fashion.
Then there was a little panel, now in the National
Gallery: The New Moon; or, " Pve lost my Boat, you
shan't have your Hoop'' In spite of its bizarre title, this
is a very delicate, poetic twilight. It shows a wide
stretch of shining wet sand on which are dotted, children,
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER 123
dogs, and other figures; a lighthouse is seen in the
distance, and a steamer.
The next is also a sea shore, but now the surf is
breaking on the shingle under a stormy sky. It was
called Rockets and Blue Lights (Close at Hand to warn
Steamboats of Shoal-water).
Last there was another panel Neapolitan Fisher-girls
surprised bathing by Moonlight. I have never seen this
In 1841 Turner sent six pictures to the Academy.
The Ducal Palace Dogano, with part of San Giorgio,
Venice, which was bought by Sir Francis Chantrey on
varnishing day, without his even seeing it, for ^250. After
the sculptor died, the picture was sold at Christie's for
the sum of 1, 500. At the time this was considered an
enormous sum and again the purchaser had not seen
the work. The second was Giudecca la Donna della
Salute and San Giorgio. The island is seen in the
middle, and the Riva degli Schiavoni on the right.
Roseneu y Seat of H.R.H. Prince Albert of Coburg, near
Depositing of John Bellini's three Pictures in La
Chiesa Redentore, Venice. The state barge, covered with
flags and flowers, is moving down the canal of the
Giudecca escorted by a fleet of gondolas. Then there
was a circular picture, Dawn of Christianity.
Flight into Egypt>
That star has risen.
and Glaucus and Scylla (Ovid's " Metamorphoses ").
124 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
In November of this year Turner lost another of his
old friends, Chantrey, with whom he had fished and
boated in the happy days at Twickenham. Thornbury
tells, how the old man called and found Jones, his crony,
in the chamber of death, how he could not speak a
word, but wrung his hand and then rushed out of the
Next year Wilkie died near Gibraltar, and was buried
at sea. Turner and Jones agreed that they would com-
memorate Wilkie by each painting his funeral. Jones
treated it as a figure picture seen from the deck of the
ship. Turner painted the steamer itself, and, to give it a
look of mourning, made the sails quite black. Stanfield,
who saw the picture on varnishing day, thought the
effect of the sails untrue, but Turner would not alter
them, saying, " I only wish I had any colour to make
them blacker." The title given was Peace Burial at
The midnight torch gleamed o'er the steamer's side,
And merit's corse was yielded to the tide.
MS. Fallacies of Hope.
As a companion to this Turner painted also War
the Exile and the Rock-Limpet.
Ah ! thy tent-formed shell is like
A soldier's mighty bivouac alone,
Amidst a sea of blood . . .
. . . but can you join your comrades?
MS. Fallacies of Hope.
Of course the sea of blood is represented by a crimson
BURIAL OF WILKIE, 1842
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER 125
sunset. Napoleon, in cocked hat and jack boots, is stand-
ing on some rocks among the puddles at low water, and
the reflection of his legs (which are wide apart) in the
calm pools gives the figure a very comical appearance.
The papers made fun of it. " Punch " printed a sort of
parody which was called The Duke of Wellington and
the Shrimp, and there were also imitations of that
mystic manuscript "The Fallacies of Hope." Gilbert a
Beckett laughed at the poor old painter in his " Almanac
of the Month." Thackeray said sarcastic things in
" Ainsworth's Magazine."
Among the Turner pictures most jeered at was Snow-
storm Steamboat off a Harbour's Mouth making Signals
in shallow Water and going by the Lead. The A uthor
was in this storm on the night the Ariel left Harwich.
This was called in one paper " A Typhoon bursting in a
Simoon over the Whirlpool of Maelstrom, Norway; with
a ship on fire, an eclipse and the effect of a lunar
O, Art, how vast thy mighty wonders are
To those who roam upon the extraordinary deep;
Maelstrom, thy hand is here.
From an unpublished poem.
Another writer spoke of it as soapsuds and whitewash.
I am afraid some of these jokes caused Turner great
pain. " A man may be weak in his age," he said to
Ruskin once; " but you should not tell him so." Another
day he repeated from time to time " soapsuds and white-
wash! I wonder what they think the sea's like?" We
126 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
know that Turner himself never said a depreciatory word
of any man's work. Possibly he may have felt the truth
of a saying which I have heard expressed by a more
modern artist thus: "In the sight of God we are all
Poor old Turner! (He was sixty-seven, remember.)
He had put to sea in the snowstorm ; so determined was
he to study the tempest that he made the sailors lash
him down where he could watch the great waves and
drink in the scene. He stayed four hours, and when he
tried to record his impressions and give his rendering
of what he felt and saw, the critics laughed at him and
called his work "soapsuds and whitewash." What did
these men know of the sea or of art? Nothing, I fancy,
for, by a sort of perverseness, they hit upon just the very
picture which shows no signs of waning power. Turner
never painted better sky or water than this. There is
nothing fantastic or strange about the choppy waves,
which are really very like actual rollers when we see
them face to face, and are right in midst of them. The
steamer I must admit is rather a puzzle (I am not quite
sure which is stem and which is stern). This I fancy
helps to give a sort of vague horror to the scene, whilst
a very correctly drawn vessel with all its running rig-
ging rove rightly would not have the same effect.
There were two more paintings of the city of the
Adriatic, The Dogana, San Giorgio, Citella, from the
steps of the Europa, and Campo Santo, Venice.
And now his mighty champion began to fill the land
with praise of Turner's work. This year, 1843, John
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER 127
Ruskin published the first volume of " Modern Painters."
Such a wonderful book on art had never before been
written. The old masters were taken to task with subtle
reasoning, and Turner was lauded and put in the place
of honour high above them all. Meanwhile the old
painter worked away, troubling his head very little about
the genius and eloquence of his youthful disciple. " My
own admiration of him," says Mr. Ruskin, "was wild
enthusiasm; but it gave him no ray of pleasure. He
could not make me at that time understand his main
meaning. He loved me but cared nothing for what I
said." Always accumulative and versatile, he still
tramped about making drawings of everything. He was
seen on board the " Magnet," the old Margate steamer,
watching the effect of the sun and the boiling of the
foam in the wake; and at lunch time eating shrimps out
of an immense red silk handkerchief laid across his
King Ludwig of Bavaria built a Walhalla, a sort of
Doric temple, on a hill overlooking the Danube and
placed in it two hundred marble busts of eminent
Germans. It was , opened in October and the event
struck Turner's fancy; so he painted a picture of the
subject and composed some new lines under a French
title, "Lhonneur au Roi de Bavtire" \
Who rode on thy relentless car, fallacious Hope?
He, though scathed at Ratisbon, poured on
The tide of war, o'er all thy plain, Bavare,
Like the swollen Danube to the gates of Wien.
But peace returns the morning ray
128 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
Beams on the Walhalla, reared to science and the arts
And men renowned of German fatherland.
MS. Fallacies of Hope.
In the picture we look over the river to the temple
which stands upon a hill near a sloping bridge ; beyond
are misty mountains and the valley winding away into
space. The foreground is crowded with hundreds of
figures sitting and kneeling about; there are musical
instruments, a baby in a cradle, and what looks like a
fountain. I have no idea what meaning is meant to be
conveyed by all this. Turner in his admiration of the
King sent the picture to him as a present; but his
Majesty, who perhaps had never heard of Turner, and
did not understand his picture, sent the gift back again.
It now hangs in the National Gallery.
The Sun of Venice going to Sea.
Fair shines the morn and soft the zephyr blows;
Venicia's fisher spreads his sail so gay,
Nor heeds the demon that in grim repose
Expects his evening prey.
Here is a note of Ruskin's with regard to the title:
" Turner seems to have revised his own additions to
Gray in the catalogues as he did his pictures on the
walls, with much discomfiture to the printer and the
public. He wanted afterwards to make the first lines of
this legend rhyme with each other, and to read:
Fair shines the morn the Zephyr (west wind) blows a gale,
Venetia's fisher spreads his painted sail.
The two readings got confused, and if I remember aright
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER 129
some of the catalogues read, " Soft the Zephyr blows a
gale, and spreads his painted sail so gay " to the great
admiration of the collectors of the Sibylline leaves of
the " Fallacies of Hope."
Like almost all of Turner's later pictures, it has suf-
fered with time. The sky has darkened and become
spotted, and Ruskin says much of the transparency in
the green ripples is gone. The very white ducal palace
and the domes of St. Mark hardly show in a photograph,
but can still be seen in the picture itself, which is even
yet a very fine example of the master.
Another Venetian picture this year was Dogana and
Madonna delta Salute, Venice] and besides, there were
two strange subjects, Shade and Darkness , and The
Evening of the Deluge.
The moon puts forth her signs of woe unheeded;
But disobedience slept; the darkening Deluge
And the last token came; the giant frame-work floated,
The scared birds forsook their nightly shelter screaming,
And the beasts waded to the Ark.
Fallacies of Hope.
In this picture, which is in the National Gallery, the
animals are crowded on the rocks, which are being slowly
covered by the rising water. A heavy cloud hangs over-
head, and in the distance mountains shine in the light
of the setting sun.
Light and Colour (Goethe's Theory], The Morning
after the Deluge, Moses writing the Book of Genesis.
130 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
The Ark stood firm on Ararat ; th' returning sun
Exhaled earth's humid bubbles, and emulous of light
Reflected her lost forms, each in prismatic guise
Hope's harbinger, ephemeral as the summer fly
Which rises, flits, expands, and dies.
Fallacies of Hope.
The sun is shining, and in its rays an endless procession
of figures advance. In the clouds is a seated figure, I
suppose Moses, and below him a coiled serpent.
St. Benedetto looking towards Fusina. This picture is
sometimes called the approach to Venice, but this title
was given by Turner to another work exhibited in the
following year, and sold in the Academy. Ruskin says,
"Even San Benedetto is a mistake of Turner's; there
being no church nor quarter belonging to that saint on
either side of the Giudecca, or in any possible way in-
cluded in this view." Further on he says, " The buildings
on the right are also, for the most part, imaginary in their
details, especially in the pretty bridge which connects
two of their masses ; and yet without one single accurate
detail, the picture is the likest thing to what it is meant
for the looking out of the Giudecca landward at sunset
of all that I have ever seen."
There is a long description in Thornbury of a visit
paid by a Mr. Hammersley to Queen Anne Street, from
which I have taken the following : " I left the door,
walked across the street, looked at the house, gained
breath, for I had nearly run all the way from Somerset
House, and foolish as it will appear, I could have wor-
shipped the dirty windows that let in light enough to
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER 131
one whose soul saw at all times the whole brilliancy of
Nature." At last, when steady and calm, the young
man knocked at the door, and the old housekeeper,
tardily enough, opened the door and let him into the
dining-room. " I waited there for a short time, all eyes,
all ears, when I heard a shambling, slippered footstep
down a flight of stairs slow measured, yet as of one
who was regardless of style or promptitude what the
world calls shambling, in fact. When the door opened,
I, nobody, stood face to face with, to my thinking, the
greatest man living. I shall attempt no description ; you
know how he looked. I saw at once his height, his
breadth, his loose dress, his ragged hair, his indifferent
quiet all, indeed, that went to make his physique and
some of his mind; but, above all, I saw, felt (and still
feel) his penetrating gray eye."
They went out of the cold, cheerless room, to the
gallery, which was even less tidy and more forlorn. " It
was an Art chaos, all confusion, mouldiness, and wretched
litter most of the pictures, indeed, all those nestling
against the wall, being covered with uncleanly sheets."
Turner took these off, and disclosed to Hammersley's
wondering and reverent observation many of the works
that are now so 'well known. After about five minutes
Turner turned quickly and said, " This gallery is cold ;
pray keep your hat on " ; but the young enthusiast told
him that he could not think of being covered in his
presence. " He looked at me very steadily and said,
* Mr. Hammersley, I shall feel much more comfortable
myself if you will comply with my wishes in this respect.' "
132 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
Here is a description of a second visit a little later:
" I entered the dingy dining-room as before, and was
immediately joined by Turner, who, as before, led me up
to his gallery. Our proceedings then resembled our pro-
ceedings on the former visit, distinguished from it, how-
ever, by the exceeding taciturnity, yet restlessness of
my great companion, who walked about and occasionally
clutched a letter which he held in his hand. I feared to
break the dead silence, varied only by the slippered
scrape of Turner's feet as he paced from end to end of
the dim and dusty apartment. At last he stood abruptly,
and turning to me, said, ' Mr. Hammersley, you must
excuse me, I cannot stay another moment; the letter I
hold in my hand has just been given to me, and it
announces the death of my friend Callcott.' He said no
more; I saw his fine gray eyes fill as he vanished, and
I left at once."
In 1839 there were seven pictures in the Academy:
Ostend y a tumbling sea at the entrance to a harbour;
fishing boats are in the calm water inside, and there is
a tall lighthouse^and some windmills partly seen through
Fishing boats bringing a disabled ship into Port
Ruysdael. There is no such harbour. Turner gave the title
to show his admiration for the Dutch painter of that
name. This is a very brilliant work, touched in as only
the master could. The heave of the water, and the
vivacity of the boats is perfect. Of course the eye was
not so keen or the hand so steady as in past times. We
see everything blurred, as though through a white mist.
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER 133
Ram, Steam, and Speed; the Great Western Railway.
Though there are some fine qualities in the sky and dis-
tance, there is so little make and shape about the bridge and
engine that the whole is rather unsatisfying. One cannot
help thinking that Brunei built a rather more solid fabric
than is here suggested. One thing one may remark, that
Turner, who began work in the days of stage coaches
and highwaymen, saw nothing unpicturesque or common-
place in the iron horse.
Van Tromp going about to please his master > ships a sea,
getting a good wetting. ( Vide " Lives of Dutch Painters.")
I do not know the story referred to, but the Admiral
is represented in a small vessel flying big flags, and with
the celebrated broom at the masthead. There are many
boats crowded with figures.
Venice Maria della Salute, another of the misty ren-
derings of this well-worn subject.
Approach to Venice.
The path lies o'er the sea invisible;
And from the land we went
As to a floating city, steering in,
And gliding up her streets as in a dream,
So smoothly, silently.
The moon is up, and yet it is not night;
The sun as yet disputes the day with her.
Venice, Quay, Ducal Palace. Many fishing-boats and
gondolas alongside, and in the distance the towers of
Saint Mark and San Zaccaria.
134 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
Turner's last Swiss journey was in 1845. Old age was
coming on. He is now described as stooping very much
and always looking down. He had a habit of sticking
his hands into his coat pockets and of muttering to him-
self. He was very much interested in light, and would
ask endless questions of Brewster as to all that was
known on that subject. Wilkie Collins, who used to carry
his father's colour-box to the varnishing days, remem-
bers that Turner, not the more perfect in his balance for
the brown sherry of the Academy lunch, would sit on
the top of a flight of steps, or a box, like a shabby
Bacchus nodding at his pictures. In these latter years it
was often his habit to send in his pictures only laid in
with white and gray, and do nearly all the finishing on
the varnishing days. There were four days of this kind
each year, and on those four days Turner worked from
morning to night.
This year there were two pictures of whalers (vide
Beale's "Voyage," pages 163 and 175), and four of
Venice, each with note, " MS. Fallacies of Hope," but
with no verses. Perhaps some ruthless compiler of the
Academy catalogue cut them out, or was it rather that
Turner did not feel equal to composing his ponderous
In 1846 there were six more: Returning from the
Ball, (St. Martha}; Going to the Ball, (San Martina);
Hurrah for the Whaler Erebus! another fish! Beale's
( Voyage^; Undine giving the Ring to Masaniello,
Fisherman of Naples ; and The Angel standing in the
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER 135
And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with
a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of
heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper
of the great God;
That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains
and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses and of
them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men both free and
bond, both small and great. Revelation, xix, 17, 18.
The march of arms which glittering in the sun,
The feast of vultures ere the day was done.
Whalers (boiling blubber} entangled in flaw ice, endeavour-
ing to extricate themselves. The greater part of these pic-
tures are in the National Gallery, and they show Turner's
wonderful versatility. Old as he was, he was always try-
ing new experiments and combinations. Some of the
whaling subjects are very suggestive of the cold mists
and strange effects of the polar sea. In others the ghosts
of gondolas drift on pale yellow glassy lagunes melting
into opal skies ; snow-white domes rise above dream cities
of pearl and amber, peopled by vague forms, vapour in
Turner's mind was to the last the mind of a child,
always receptive and inquisitive. Photography was quite
in its infancy in these days, and Mr. Mayall tells how
the painter, who, though he gave his name correctly,
pretended to be a Master in Chancery, called at his
studio time after time, always wishing to try curious
effects of light, and always asking questions. Mayall
took several daguerreotypes of his visitor, one in the act
136 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
of reading, a position rather favourable, for Turner's eyes
were weak and bloodshot. He was much taken with a
photograph of Niagara, and was never tired of hearing
a description of it. " In short, he had come so often and
in such an unobtrusive manner that he had come to be
regarded by all my people as * Our Mr. Turner.'
" I was at that time a struggling artist, much devoted
to improving my art, and had just bought a large lens in
Paris, six inches in diameter. I let Turner look through
it, and the expressions of surprise and admiration were
such that I ought at once to have known him in his true
character; however, he was very kind to me, and by
some sort of innuendo he kept up his Mastership in
Chancery so well that I did not. Whatever others may
have said of his parsimonious habits, I cannot recollect
one act of his that would lead me to infer that he was
other than a liberal, kind-hearted old gentleman."
This went on until 1 848, when Mayall met Turner at
a soMe of the Royal Society. The painter at once began
to speak of his old topic of the spectrum, and some one
coming up asked the photographer if he knew that he
was speaking to the Turner. It seems as though the
painter did not care to be known in his true character,
for though, before he parted with Mayall he promised to
call and conduct some more experiments, he never went
to the little shop in the Strand again. A love of mystery
was strongly marked in Turner's character. The York-
shire Stingo was at one time one of his haunts, but at
last he was recognized there by a friend, and at once gave
it up. Thornbury says a great deal of what he calls
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER 137
Turner's selfish, brooding, solitary life, making out that
this led to a vicious old age. I don't know why the great
painter's little peccadilloes should have been branded
with such hard names. He was not a bit more vicious
than thousands of old bachelors whose deeds are never
questioned by the world. There is no proof that his four
illegitimate children were neglected, or that his mistresses
were abandoned. As to the low sailors' haunts in Wap-
ping or Rotherhithe, where he was supposed to wallow
from Saturday to Monday, one would like to know
where the author picked up his authority. Then, when
Thornbury goes on to call him " mean, grinding, par-
simonious to the degree almost of disease," one won-
ders if the literary man's love of strong contrasts has
not led him to load the blacks in his shadows a little
That the old man took a little too much wine at times
is, I think, true enough, but in the forties such little weak-
nesses were not much thought of.
In 1 847 Turner exhibited The Hero of a Hundred
Fights, "An idea suggested by the German invocation
upon casting the bell y in England called tapping the
The following year he did not exhibit, and both the
pictures exhibited in 1849 had been begun years before.
The Wreck Buoy was an early work painted at the mouth
of the Thames off Reculver, but quite at the end of his
life Turner spent six laborious days upon it, much to
Mr. Munro's horror. A green wreck buoy is dancing on
a stormy sea, and a double rainbow spans the sky.
138 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
Venus and Adonis was also an early work, painted before
1812; it was sold by a Mr. Green in 1830 to Munro.
Mercury sent to admonish Aeneas (1850).
Beneath the morning mist
Mercury waited to tell him of his neglected fleet.
The sun is rising through vapour over an inlet bordered
by rocky slopes and classic ruins ; besides the two per-
sonages mentioned in the title, there are some women
and children, and a dreamy procession of figures floating
on the waves.
ALneas relating his Story to Dido.
Fallacious hope beneath the moon's pale crescent shone,
Dido listened to Troy being lost and won.
On a classic harbour surrounded by fortified buildings,
near a city upon a steep hill, is a galley with a canopy,
followed by boats. There are trees, and a rainbow in the
The Visit to the Tomb.
The sun went down in wrath at such deceit. . . .
^Eneas, wearing a red cloak and plumed helmet, is seen
near the entrance to the tomb of Anchises ; Venus stands
at the foot of a group of trees with Cupid. The sun is
setting over an estuary, in which are some ships, and
beyond is a classic city.
The Departure of the Fleet.
The orient moon shone on the departing fleet,
Nemesis invoked, the priest held the poisoned cup.
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER 139
Dido is lamenting on the bank, whilst the galleys of
^Eneas get under way. These four pictures were the last
the old painter ever sent to the Academy. He was not
an exhibitor in 1851; but he came to the private view,
and all who saw him remarked what a change had come
over him. He was shaky and feeble, and his sturdy,
dogged look was gone.
Many of his friends knew that the old painter had
another home besides the dingy house in Queen Anne
Street, but knowing his secretive nature, they did not
dare to speak openly. Some one must have taken care
of him, for he was cleaner and more tidy than he used to
be. His red velvet waistcoat and starched shirts, his
clean-shaved face and shiny boots were quite in contrast
to what he had worn a short time before.
Turner was very mysterious about his quarters. One
day, in a shower, an artist took shelter in a public-house,
where he found the old Academician sitting in the farthest
corner with his glass in front of him. The friend said,
" I didn't know you used this house; I shall often drop
in now Pve found out where you quarter." Turner
emptied his glass, and as he went out said, " Will you? I
don't think you will." Wishing for a change he had gone
along the river bank at Chelsea until he found a cottage
with a flat railed-in roof from which he could study the
sunrises and sunsets. When the landlady suggested a
reference, he said, " My good woman, I'll buy the house
outright." Then she proposed to draw up an agreement,
but he brought out a roll of bank-notes and offered to
pay in advance. When asked his name, he demanded
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
of the landlady her name. She said she was Mrs.
Booth. " Then," said Turner, " I'm Mr. Booth," and so
it came to pass that the great artist was known along
the water-side as "Fuggy Booth," or sometimes "the
Admiral " when people wished to be more respectful.
Up to the very last he would often rise at daybreak to
watch the colour slowly coming into the eastern sky.
With nothing but a blanket or a dressing-gown over
him, he would stand on the little railed-in roof.
Here is a letter posted from Chelsea about this time.
It is an example of Turner's involved and confused
style, and the spelling is rather queer now and again.
Mother Goose came to a rehearsal before Christmas
Day, having arrived on Saturday for the knife, and could not
be resisted, in my drinking your good health in a glass of wine
to all friends at Farnley Hall, also wishing happiness and the
comp is of the season to all. The pie is in most excellent taste,
and shall drink the same thanks on Christmas day. Many
thanks for the brace of pheasants and hares by the same
train j indeed I think it fortunate, for with all the strife and
strike of pokers and stokers for the railroads their commons
every day growing worse in shareholders and directors squab-
bling about the winding up of the last Bill, to come to some
end for those lines known or supposed to be in difficulty.
Ruskin has been in Switzerland with his whife this summer
and now said to be in Venice. Since the revolution shows not
any damage to the works of high Art it contains, in Rome not
so much as might have been expected. Had the " Transfigura-
tion " occupied its old situation, the St. Pietro Montoreo, it
most possibly must have suffered, for the church is completely
riddled with shot and balls. The convent on Mount Aventine
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER 141
much battered with cannon-balls, and Casino Magdalene, near
the Porto Angelino nearly destroyed; occurred by taking and
storming the Bastion No. 8.
This is from an eye-witness who returned to London since
the siege by Gen. Oudinot.
I am sorry to say my health is much on the wain. I cannot
bear the same fatigue, or have the same bearing against it, I
formerly had but time and tide stop not but I must stop
writing for to-day, and so I again beg to thank you for the
Believe me most truly
Your oblidged Servant
W. H. Fawkes, Esq., J. M. W. TURNER.
The Mother Goose is an allusion to the Yorkshire pie
which was sent to him every year from Farnley Hall.
In 1851 his friends noticed that Turner.no longer
came to the meetings of the Academy Council he who
had always been so regular an attendant. David Roberts
wrote on behalf of his brother painters, saying how sorry
they were not to see him, and begging Turner if he were
ill to let him know so that he might come and see him ;
adding that the secret of his dwelling-place should not
be revealed if he desired it should be kept unknown.
Turner did not write in answer to this letter; but two
weeks afterwards he came to Roberts's studio in Fitzroy
Square sadly changed and broken. He was deeply
moved by the letter his friend had written, and said,
" You must not ask me ; but whenever I come to town
I will always come to see you." " I tried to cheer him
up," says Roberts, " but he laid his hand upon his heart
142 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
and replied, 'No, no; there is something here which is
all wrong/ As he stood by the table in my painting-
room I could not help looking attentively at him, peering
in his face, for the small eye was as brilliant as that of a
child, and unlike the glazed and Mack lustre eye' of
age. This was my last look. The rest is soon told.
None of his friends had seen him for months ; indeed I
believe I was the last, together with my friend George
Jones, who I afterwards learnt had that day received a
visit from him." Once only after this did he visit his
friend. It was some two months before his death.
Poor Mrs. Danby, once his mistress and now the
guardian of the dingy house in Queen Anne Street, was
still more troubled at Turner's absence. She was sure he
was ill, and yet knew not where to find him in all the
countless streets of London. But one day, turning over
his clothes, she found in one of the pockets a letter from
someone in Chelsea. There she thought he might be,
and so, attended by another old woman as infirm as she
was herself, journeyed down to the river side, and at last,
at a gingerbeer shop, got some news which satisfied her
that the old gentleman who lived next door must be the
great painter himself. To her great grief she learned
that he had been very ill, and had seldom been out for
the last two months. Mrs. Danby went at once back to
Mr. Harpur, who was one of Turner's executors, and he
hastened down to Chelsea only in time to find the
painter fast sinking. Turner had, it would appear, sent
for a well-known doctor from Margate, and when he told
him that death was near, he said, " Go downstairs, take a
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER 143
glass of sherry, and then look at me again. ' The doctor
did so, but could not alter his judgment; he failed to
make Turner believe that the end was so close. Even
within his last hour the landlady wheeled his chair to
the window so that he might once more look out upon
the great river and the sunshine that he loved so well.
Perhaps he noted the whole scene for future use just as
he had done thousands of times before, for the ruling
passion is strong even in death. A little later Mrs. Booth
drew up the blind and the soul of the great painter
passed to his Maker whilst the sun was shining upon
Who shall say that his life was not a happy one? He
was always toiling and striving, but then Turner loved
hard work and effort, and was never so joyous as when
he was trying to outdo some great forerunner. His sur-
roundings were squalid and uncomfortable, but these
two words had no meaning to the sturdy enthusiast who
could cheerfully dine off bread and cheese, sleep on a
chair with his elbow on a table, and rise and go off to his
work before six in the morning ; or who at a later time
in his life would have himself lashed for four hours to a
mast in a storm so that he might study the forms of the
great waves as they broke over the ship.
His sordid money squabbles must be set off against
the pleasure he took in thinking of the gift he was going
to present to his struggling fellow painters, for the
savings of a lifetime were to be spent in founding a
great almshouse for decayed artists.
Turner chose to go away and die among strangers
144 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
who knew neither his name or his greatness because he
hated to have a fuss made over him. I think Thornbury
was only trying to force the effect when he made out
that "having no religious hope he must have realized the
miserable insufficiency of all his fame and wealth," and
that "the dark dread of annihilation overpowered his
heart." Ruskin also works upon our feelings by drawing
a sort of fancy picture of Turner's life and death when
he writes: " Imagine, any of you, the effect upon your
own minds, if every voice that you heard from the human
beings around you were raised, year after year, through
all your lives, only in condemnation of your efforts and
denial of your success. This may be borne, and borne
easily, by men who have fixed religious principles, or
supporting domestic ties. But Turner had no one to
teach him in his youth, and no one to love him in his
old age. Respect and affection, if they came at all, came
too late. Naturally irritable, though kind naturally sus-
picious, though generous the gold gradually became
dim, and the most fine gold changed, or if not changed,
clouded and overcast. The deep heart was still beating;
but it was beneath a dark and melancholy mail, between
whose joints, however, sometimes the slightest arrows
found entrance and power of giving pain. He received
no consolation in his last years or in his death."
This is very beautiful writing, but is not the truth.
Turner had many to teach him. His father gave him
every possible help. His fellow painters were full of
admiration for his work, and he had many staunch
friends to the last. I think my readers will agree with
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER 145
me, that he lived a prosperous and fairly happy life, and
that his end was by no means miserable, but such as he
himself would have wished.
Mr. Trimmer describes how he went to the dismal
house in Queen Anne Street, and how altered it was
from the time when he used to have his pockets filled
with biscuits by Turner after the olden fashion. Now
all had the silence of death. The Centaurs in conflict
with the Lapithae in the hall; a Wilson obscured by
smoke; the bare, unfurnished room filled with partly
finished pictures, some laid in with white, others with
large massed of half tint and white as preparation, placed
carelessly against the wall, the damp of which had
damaged the colours or had taken them off altogether.
In the sleeping apartment Mr. Trimmer was surprised
that a person of Turner's means could have lived in
such a room : " certainly he prized modern luxuries at a
very modest rate."
" In the studio always, during his lifetime, enshrined in
mystery and the object of profound speculation, his
gloves and neck handkerchief lay on a circular table
which had in the middle a raised box, with a circle in
the centre with side compartments. In the centre were
his colours, cobalt, ultramarine of various depths, smalts,
also some verditer. The colours were mixed daily with
cold-drawn oil, and he was very particular. If they were
not to his mind he would say to Mrs. Danby, * Can't you
set a palette better than this? ' "
His travelling library, Young's "Night Thoughts,"
Izaak Walton and a translation of Horace, lay there.
146 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
" There was a small deal box on a side table, the lid
of which my father raised to show me its contents. It
was covered with a glass, and under it was the cast of
the great Turner; 'Dear old Turner.' There he lay with
his eyes sunk and his lips fallen in. He reminded me
strongly of his old father whom, long years before, I had
seen trudging to Brentford market from Sandicombe
Lodge to lay in his week's supplies.
"Alas for humanity! this was the man whom in my
childhood I had attended with my father, and had been
drawn by, on the banks of the Thames; whom I had
seen sketching with such glee on the river's banks, as I
gathered wild flowers in my earliest years, who had
stuffed my pockets with sweetmeats, had loaded me with
fish, and made me feel as happy as a prince.
" On his calm face were written the marks of age and
wreck, of dissolution and reblending with the dust. This
was the man whose worst productions contained more
poetry and genius than the most laboured efforts of his
brother artists ; who was the envy of his rivals, and the
admiration of all whose admiration was worth having;
nor was it without emotion or with a dry eye that I
gazed on so sad a sight."
There was a long procession of mourning coaches and
private carriages to Saint Paul's Cathedral. Mr. Harpur,
as chief mourner, wore the crape hatband and scarf con-
sidered proper to the occasion in those days.
There were mutes and pall-bearers and a great gather-
ing of artists and men of note who came to pay the last
tribute of respect to all that remained of the painter-
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER 147
poet who had toiled for so many long years, building up
those marvellous creations before which we still stand
and wonder. Dean Milman read the service, and the
organ pealed the Dead March in Saul. Then the coffin
was deposited in one of the vaults alongside Sir Joshua
Reynolds. It bore this inscription: "Joseph Mallord
Turner, Esq., R.A., died Dec. 19, 1851, aged 79 years."
But this was a mistake, for he was really only seventy-
"The Times" of December 23rd, 1851, has the fol-
lowing patronizing notice : " The Fine Arts in this
country have not produced a more remarkable man than
Joseph Mallord William Turner, whose death it was yes-
terday our duty to record ; and although it would here
be out of place to revive the discussion occasioned by
the peculiarities of Mr. Turner's style in his later years,
he has left behind him sufficient proofs of the variety
and fertility of his genius to establish an undoubted
claim to a prominent rank among the painters of Eng-
land." The article goes on to give a few samples of the
prices paid for his pictures, and speaks of 600 as an
enormous sum for a sketchbook of drawings of the Rivers
Turner's will -was a very complicated affair, not easy
to follow, for codicils were added from time to time re-
voking what had gone before. The will and codicils in
Thornbury's " Life of Turner " cover eight pages of small
print. After some bequests to his uncles and nephews
he leaves .50 a year to his old housekeeper, and the
same sum to her two nieces. To the National Gallery
148 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
he leaves Dido building Carthage and The Sun rising
through Vapour^ but on the condition that they were to
be hung between two pictures by Claud called The Sea
Port and The Mill. With the residue of his funded pro-
perty he designed to found a charity for decayed artists
of the male sex born in England of English parents
only and of lawful issue. The institution was to be called
"Turner's Gift." This will was dated June loth, 1831.
Then come codicils. The first, August 2Oth, 1832,
directs that a gallery is to be erected to hold his pic-
tures, keeping them together so that they may be viewed
gratuitously; but if it was found impossible to fully carry
the same into effect within five years of his death, then
the executors were to keep all the pictures entire and
unsold at No.47,Queen Anne Street,and appoint Hannah
Danby the custodian with 1003. year and $o for as-
sistance. " Georgianna " and Evelina Danby were to have
;ioo a year each. " And every year on the 23rd of April
(my birthday) a dinner to the sum of $o to all the
Members of Academy and if 60 more will be left to be
for a Professor in Landscape to be read in the Royal
Academy elected from the Royal Academicians or a
Medal called Turner's Medal equal to the Gold Medal
now given by the Academy, say 20 for the best Land-
scape every 2 (3) years, and if the Trustees and Members
of the Royal Academy do not accept of this offered
residue I give the same to Georgia Danby or her Heirs
after causing a Monument to be placed near my remains
as can be placed."
This codicil was signed but not attested; it was fol-
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER 149
lowed by another, August 2nd, 1848, which revoked the
bequests to the relations and housekeepers. " And as to
my finished Pictures except the Two mentioned in my
Will I give and bequeath the same unto the Trustees of
the National Gallery provided that a room or rooms are
added to the present National Gallery to be when
erected called ' Turner's Gallery.' "
There was a great deal more as to keeping the pic-
tures in Queen Anne Street guarded by Hannah until
the gallery should be ready, and nineteen pounds nine-
teen shillings is to be given to each executor for a ring;
unless the terms of this bequest are carried out in five
years the bequest is declared void.
In the next codicil, February 1st, 1849, the trustees
of the National Gallery are given ten years instead of
five to build the room or rooms that are to be called
Turner's Gallery. Then Turner bequeaths the sum of
1,000 to erect a monument in Saint Paul's Cathedral
where he desires to be buried among his Brothers in
Art ; and Hannah Danby and Caroline Booth are each
to have an annuity of 150; then 1,000 is to go to
the Pension Fund of the Royal Academy "provided
they give a Medal for Landscape Painting and marked
with my name* upon it as Turner's Medal." 500 to the
Artists' General Benevolent Fund, 500 to the Foundling
Hospital, a like sum to the London Orphan Fund, and
the residue for the intended hospital mentioned in the
will. Mrs. Wheeler and her two sisters were to have
In the will and the four codicils, proved on September
ISO LIFE OF J. M, W. TURNER
the 6th, 1852, by the Rev. H. S. Trimmer, George Jones,
C. Turner, P. Hardwick, H. Harpur, Dr. Munro, Samuel
Rogers, T. Griffith, and John Ruskin, the effects were
sworn under 140,000.
Unfortunately for the poor artists of England the will
was disputed by the next of kin on the ground that the
testator was mad. This plea failed. The trustees and
executors then filed a bill in Chancery praying the
Court to construe the will and to enable them to ad-
minister the estate. The next of kin said it was im-
possible to place any construction upon the will at all
and that it was void ; and further that even if the will
could be carried out according to the intention of the
testator it was still void, as the bequests came within
the Statute of Mortmain.
When once the Court of Chancery had got hold of a
property worth 140,000 it was in no hurry to part
from it. Several tons' weight of documents were drawn
up. There was a cartload of bills of costs. The money
that Turner had slaved for from morning to night and
had hoarded for so many years was now squandered in
the most lavish way; for four years the suit dragged
on, and the lawyers grew rich on the dead man's
At last a compromise was effected between all the
parties to the suit, and on March the iQth, 1856, a
decree was pronounced with their consent to the fol-
1. The real estate to go to the heir at law.
2. The pictures etc., to the National Gallery.
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER 151
3. ;i,ooo for the erection of a monument in St. Paul's
4. .20,000 to the Royal Academy free of legacy
5. Remainder to be divided amongst next of kin.
This unfortunate ending might well have made the
poor old man turn in his grave. For years he had mused
upon the good that his money would do to the sick and
helpless among his brother artists, and in the end his
love of mystery and lack of power to express his wishes
clearly had wrecked the whole project.
The trustees of the National Gallery took the three
hundred and twenty-four pictures, which at first were
removed to Marlborough House. Afterwards they were
taken to Kensington, where their numbers seem to have
increased to three hundred and sixty-two. And they
were at last hung in the National Gallery, where they
In 1857 Ruskin offered to select, sift, and arrange the
drawings and water-colours that Turner had left, di-
viding them into three classes. In the first are 45 draw-
ings of the Rivers of France, 57 illustrating Rogers's
poems, 23 Rivers and Harbours of England, 4 marine
vignettes, 5 middle-sized drawings, and last, the Val
d'Aosta, a large water-colour 2 feet by 3; these num-
bered 135 in all. There were 1,757 studies in the second
class, and among these may be found the very finest
work that Turner has achieved. No one can appreciate
his greatness who has not seen them. In the third class
are the black-and-white drawings, some of them drawn
152 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
from nature, and others, compositions for pictures; some
of these are magnificent.
Ruskin laboured hard from the autumn to May. Here
is his description of the work :
"In seventeen boxes in the lower room of the Na-
tional Gallery I found upwards of 19,000 pieces of paper,
drawn upon by Turner in one way or another many on
both sides. Some with four, five, or six subjects on each
side (the pencil point digging spiritedly through from
the foregrounds of the front into the tender pieces of
sky on the back). Some in chalk, which the touch of
the finger would sweep away. The best book of studies
for his great shipwrecks contained about 'a quarter of a
pound of chalk debris, black and white, broken off the
crayons with which Turner had drawn furiously on both
sides of the leaves; every leaf with peculiar foresight
and consideration of difficulties to be met by future
mounters containing half of one subject on the front of
it and half of another on the back. Others in ink rotted
into holes. Others (some splendid-coloured drawings
among them) long eaten away by damp and mildew,
and falling into dust at the edges, in various states of
fragile decay. Others worm-eaten; some mouse-eaten;
many torn half way through; numbers doubled (quad-
rupled, I should say) into four, being Turner's favourite
mode of packing for travelling; nearly all rudely flat-
tened out from the bundles in which Turner had finally
rolled them up and squeezed them into the drawers in
Queen Anne Street. Dust of thirty years' accumulation,
black, dense and sooty, lay in the rents of the crushed
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER 153
and crumpled edges of these flattened bundles, looking
like a jagged black frame, and producing altogether un-
expected effects in brilliant portions of skies, whence an
accidental or experimental finger-mark of the first
bundle unfolder had swept it away."
"About half, or rather more, of the entire number
consisted of pencil sketches in flat, oblong pocket-books,
dropping to pieces at the back, tearing laterally when-
ever opened, and every drawing rubbing itself into the
one opposite. These first I paged with my own hand,
then unbound, and laid every leaf separately on a clean
sheet of perfectly smooth writing paper, so that it might
receive no further injury. Then enclosing the contents
and boards of each book (usually ninety-two leaves, more
or less, drawn on both sides, with two sketches on the
boards at the beginning and end) in a separate sealed
packet I returned it to its tin box. The loose sketches
needed more trouble. The dust had first to be got off
them (from the chalk ones it could only be blown off),
then they had to be variously flattened; the torn ones
to be laid down, the loveliest guarded so as to prevent
all future friction, and four hundred of the most charac-
teristic framed and glazed, and cabinets constructed for
them, which would admit of their free use by the
Anyone who cares to ask permission from the keeper
may sit in one of the rooms in the basement of the
National Gallery and have these wonderful drawings
passed before him by an attendant. As I said some
pages back, this in itself is a complete education. I
154 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
think Ruskin meant that students should flock to copy
the works of his idol when he framed and arranged
them so carefully; but it may be as well to point out
that no one can hope to approach the greatness of
Turner by making copies of his work. I cannot call to
mind a single imitation of this master that is not utterly
inferior in every possible way, as imitations always
The man who strives to rival Turner must go out and
study nature face to face as he did. On the mountain
side, in crowded cities, or afloat on the ever-changing
ocean. He must be able to watch and note every passing
phase, with the power of storing up, and afterwards
sifting and winnowing his observations. To these the
gifts of imagination, originality and individuality must
Lastly, after years of patient labour, knowledge may
come to the groping student, and he may so weave
truth and art together that his work may approach to
the matchless splendour of that of Turner himself.
CATALOGUE OF THE EXHIBITED WORKS
GIVING THE DATES AND PLACES OF THEIR EXHIBITION, AND
INFORMATION WHERE KNOWN J OF THE LAST OCCASION
IN WHICH THEY WERE SEEN BY THE PUBLIC, OR
OF THE GALLERY WHERE THEY ARE
The following catalogue is extracted, by his permission, from
the volume by Mr. C. F. Bell, entitled "A List of the Works
contributed to Public Exhibitions by J. M. W. Turner, R.A."
The following abbreviations are used :
R.A., Exhibition of the Royal Academy of Arts.
B.I. Exhibition of the British Institution.
O. M., Exhibition of the Works of Old Masters and Deceased
Masters of the British school at the Royal Academy.
A.T.M., Exhibition of Art Treasures, Manchester, 1857.
J.M., Royal Jubilee Exhibition, Manchester, 1887.
N.G., National Gallery.
V.A.M., Victoria and Albert Museum, South Kensington.
Notes marked [A] are from Sir Walter Armstrong's " Turner."
PAINTINGS IN WATER-COLOURS
1. VIEW OF THE ARCHBISHOP'S PALACE, LAMBETH. (10 x i4j.)
R.A. 1790, No. 644; O.M. 1887, No. 3.
(Now in the collection of W. G. Rawlinson, Esq.)
2. KING JOHN'S PALACE, ELTHAM. R.A. 1791, No. 494. Sale
I ^9 I t l los - (Hooper).
3. SWEAKLEY NEAR UXBRIDGE, THE SEAT OF THE REV D . MR.
CLARKE. R.A. 1791, No. 560.
4. MALMSBURY ABBEY. Signed^ W. Turner, delt. (21 x i4j.)
R.A. 1792, No. 436. Possession of Messrs. Agnew, 1899.
(Collection of H. L. Day, Esq. [A.])
5. THE PANTHEON THE MORNING AFTER THE FIRE, ("f xgj.)
R.A. 1792, No. 472; O.M. 1887, No. 7.
6. VIEW ON THE RIVER AVON, NEAR ST. VlNCEN'f's ROCK, BRISTOL.
R.A. 1793, No. 263. Sale 1864, ^31 IQS. (?).
7. GATE OF ST. AUGUSTINE'S MONASTERY, CANTERBURY. (20^ x 16.)
R.A. 1793, No 316. Sale 1891, 19 19^. (Nathan).
8. THE RISING SQUALL HOT WELLS FROM ST. VINCENT'S ROCK,
BRISTOL. R.A. 1793, No. 323.
9. SECOND FALL OF THE RIVER MONACH, DEVIL'S BRIDGE,
CARDIGANSHIRE. R.A. 1794, No. 333.
10. PORCH OF GREAT MALVERN ABBEY, WORCESTERSHIRE. R.A.
1794, No. 336. Sale July 2nd, 1888 (Lord Beauchamp [?]).
11. CHRISTCHURCH GATE, CANTERBURY. (ioixio| [?].) R.A.
1794, No. 388; Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, 1861 (?).
12. INSIDE OF TINTERN ABBEY, MONMOUTHSHIRE. Signed, Turner.
(i2|xgi.) R.A. 1794, No. 402; V.A.M. 1871, No. 1683-71.
13. ST. ANSELM'S CHAPEL WITH PART OF THOMAS A BECKET'S
CROWN CANTERBURY CATHEDRAL. Signed and dated,
Turner, 1793. (20^x14!.) R.A. 1794, No. 408; O.M.
1887, No. 19.
158 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
14. ST. HUGH'S, THE BURGUNDIAN'S PORCH AT LINCOLN CATHE-
DRAL. R.A. 1795, No. 411; A.T.M. 1857, No. 303.
15. MARFORD MILL, WREXHAM, DENBIGHSHIRE. Signed, Turner.
(9J X 7[?]0 R-A. 1795, No. 581; Guildhall, 1899, No. 101 [?].
16. WEST ENTRANCE OF PETERBOROUGH CATHEDRAL. R.A. 1795,
17. TRANSEPT OF TINTERN ABBEY, MONMOUTHSHIRE. (i3|xio.)
R.A. 1795, No. 589; O.M. 1887, No. 26.
18. WELSH BRIDGE, AT SHREWSBURY. R.A. 1795, No. 593. Sale
1887, ,31 IQS. (Watson) [?].
19. VIEW NEAR THE DEVIL'S BRIDGE, WITH THE RIVER RYDDOL,
CARDIGANSHIRE. R.A. 1795, No. 609.
20. CHOIR IN KING'S COLLEGE CHAPEL, CAMBRIDGE. R.A. 1795,
21. CATHEDRAL CHURCH AT LINCOLN. (17^x13^.) Signed and
dated, W. Turner, 1795. R.A. 1795, No. 621; British
22. FISHERMEN AT SEA. R.A. 1796, No. 305.
23. CLOSE GATE, SALISBURY. R.A. 1796, No. 369.
24. ST. ERASMUS IN BISHOP ISLIP'S CHAPEL, WESTMINSTER
ABBEY. R.A. 1796, No. 395. Sale 1877, ^231 (Vokins).
25. WOOLVERHAMPTON, STAFFORDSHIRE. R.A. 1796, No. 651.
26. LANDILO BRIDGE AND DINEVOR CASTLE. R.A. 1796, No. 656.
27. INTERNAL OF A COTTAGE, A STUDY AT ELY. R.A. 1796,
No. 686; N.G.
28. CHALE FARM, ISLE OF WIGHT. R.A. 1796, No. 699.
29. LANDAFF CATHEDRAL, SOUTH WALES. R.A. 1796, No. 701.
30. REMAINS OF WALTHAM ABBEY, ESSEX. R.A. 1796, No. 702.
Sale 1864, ^141 i$s. (bt. in).
31. TRANSEPT AND CHOIR OF ELY MINSTER. (26x20.) R.A.
1796, No. 711; Birmingham 1899, No. 29.
32. WEST FRONT OF BATH ABBEY. Signed, " W. Turner." (g^x
n.) R.A. 1796, No. 715. Sale 1894, ,'57 15^. (Mash).
(Collection of James Graham, Esq. [A.])
33. TRANSEPT OF EWENNY PRIORY, GLAMORGANSHIRE. (151x22.)
R.A. 1797, No. 427; Corporation Art Gallery, Cardiff.
There are really two drawings of this subject, one, the
less finished of the two, was in the Percy collection, and is
now in that of the Rev. E. C. Dewick. The other was Mr.
Dillon's, Sir Joseph Heron's, and is now at Cardiff. [A.]
CATALOGUE OF EXHIBITED WORKS 159
34. CHOIR OF SALISBURY CATHEDRAL. Signed and dated, Turner
1797. (25|xi9|.) R.A. 1797, No. 450; Guildhall, 1899, No.
35. ELY CATHEDRAL, SOUTH TRANSEPT. 25x19^. R.A. 1797, No.
464; O.M., 1887, No. 36.
36. NORTH PORCH OF SALISBURY CATHEDRAL. R.A. 1797, No. 517.
37. REFECTORY OF KIRKSTALL ABBEY, YORKSHIRE. Signed, J. M. W.
Turner. (i7jX25i-.) R.A. 1798, No. 346; Sir John Soane's
38. NORHAM CASTLE ON THE TWEED, SUMMER'S MORN. Signed*
Turner. (i9|X27|.) R.A. 1798, No. 353; Guildhall, 1899,
There are two drawings of this subject, one still belong-
ing to Mrs. Thwaites was last at O.M. 1887, No. 38;
the other, belonging to Mr. Walters, was at Guildhall.
39. HOLY ISLAND CATHEDRAL, NORTHUMBERLAND. R.A. 1798,
40. AMBLESIDE MILL, WESTMORELAND. R.A. 1798, No. 408.
41. THE DORMITORY AND TRANSEPT OF FOUNTAINS ABBEY ; EVEN-
ING. (18x24.) R.A. 1798, No. 435; Guildhall, 1899, No.
42. A STUDY IN SEPTEMBER OF THE FERN-HOUSE, MR. LOCK'S PARK,
MlCKLEHAM, SURRY. R.A. 1798, No. 640.
43. SUNNY MORNING THE CATTLE BY S. GILPIN, R.A. R.A.,
1799, No. 325.
44. ABERGAVENNY BRIDGE, MONMOUTHSHIRE, CLEARING UP AFTER
A SHOWERY DAY. (16x25.) R.A. 1799, No. 326; V.A.M.
45. INSIDE OF THE CHAPTER HOUSE OF SALISBURY CATHEDRAL.
(25x20.) R.A. 1799, No. 327; Guildhall, 1899, No. 105.
46. WEST FRONT OF SALISBURY CATHEDRAL. R.A. 1799, No. 335.
(Now belonging to Mrs. Cash. [A.])
47. CAERNARVON CASTLE. Signed, Turner. (22iX32^[?].) R.A.
1799, No. 340. O.M. 1887, No. 39 [?].
48. MORNING, FROM DR. LANGHORNE'S "VISIONS OF FANCY."
R.A. 1799, No. 356.
49. WARKWORTH CASTLE, NORTHUMBERLAND THUNDER STORM
APPROACHING AT SUN-SET. (igjx 29.) R.A. 1799, No. 434;
V.A.M. 1860, No. 547.
160 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
50. VIEW OF THE GOTHIC ABBEY (AFTERNOON) NOW BUILDING AT
FONTHILL, THE SEAT OF WlLLIAM BECKFORD, ESQ. (27! X
4i|.) R.A. 1800, No. 328; O.M. 1887, No. 42.
51. SOUTH-WEST VIEW OF A GOTHIC ABBEY (MORNING) NOW BUILD-
ING AT FONTHILL, THE SEAT OF W. BECKFORD, ESQ. R.A.
1800, No. 341.
52. CAERNARVON CASTLE, NORTH WALES. R.A. 1800, No. 351.
53. SOUTH VIEW OF THE GOTHIC ABBEY (EVENING) NOW BUILDING
AT FONTHILL, THE SEAT OF W. BECKFORD, ESQ. R.A. 1800,
54. EAST VIEW OF THE GOTHIC ABBEY (NOON) NOW BUILDING AT
FONTHILL, THE SEAT OF W. BECKFORD, ESQ. R.A. 1800,
55. NORTH EAST VIEW OF THE GOTHIC ABBEY (SUN-SET) NOW BUILD-
ING AT FONTHILL, THE SEAT OF W. BECKFORD, ESQ. R.A.
1800, No. 680.
56. LONDON, AUTUMNAL MORNING. (231x39'.) R.A., 1801, No.
329; Guildhall, 1899, No. 97.
57. PEMBROKE CASTLE, SOUTH WALES : THUNDER STORM APPROACH-
ING. 261x41. R.A. 1801, No. 343: Ralph Brocklebank,Esq.
58. ST. DONAT'S CASTLE, SOUTH WALES. SUMMER EVENING. R.A.
1801, No. 358; A.T.M. 1857, No. 306.
59. CHAPTER-HOUSE, SALISBURY. R.A. 1801, No. 415; V.A.M.
60. THE FALL OF THE CLYDE, LANARKSHIRE. NOON Vide AKEN-
SIDE'S HYMN TO THE NAIADS. (281x41.) R.A. 1802, No.
366; O.M. 1889, No. 12; Guildhall, 1899, No. 125.
61. KlLCHERN CASTLE, WITH THE CRUCHAN BEN MOUNTAINS, SCOT-
LAND, NOON. (21x30^.) R.A. 1802, No. 377. O.M. 1887,
62. EDINBURGH NEW TOWN, CASTLE, ETC., FROM THE WATER OF
LEITH. .4. (26x39.) . (251x38^. )
A. R.A. 1802, No. 424 (?). Sale, 1891, ^913 los.
(Now belongs to Sir J. Joicey, Bart. [A.])
B. R.A. 1802, No. 42 4 (?); O.M. 1889, No. 14. Sale,
63. BEN LOMOND MOUNTAINS, SCOTLAND : THE TRAVELLER. Vide
OSSIAN'S "WAR OF CAROS." R.A. 1802, No. 862.
64. SAINT HUGES DENOUNCING VENGEANCE ON THE SHEPHERD OF
CORMAYER, IN THE VALLEY OF D'AOUST. Signed^ J. M. W.
CATALOGUE OF EXHIBITED WORKS 161
TURNER. (261x391.) R.A. 1803, No. 384; Sir John Soane's
65. GLACIER AND SOURCE OF THE ARVERON, GOING UP TO THE MER
DE GLACE. (27x40.) R.A. 1803, No. 396; Leeds Exhibi-
66. EDINBURGH FROM CAULTON HALL. (25x38^.) R.A. 1804, No.
67. PEMBROKE CASTLE; CLEARING UP OF A THUNDERSTORM. R.A.
1806. No. 394; Guildhall, 1899, No. 114.
68. WINDSOR PARK ; WITH HORSES BY THE LATE SAWTREY GILPIN,
ESQRE., R.A. R.A. 1811, No. 295.
69. NOVEMBER; FLOUNDER-FISHING. (24^x184.) R.A. 1811, No.
312; Leeds Exhibition, 1839.
70. CHRYSES. (26x39^.) R.A. 1811, No. 332; Guildhall, 1899,
No. 138; Messrs. Agnew's Gallery, 1902.
71. MAY, CHICKENS. Signed,]. M. W. Turner, R.A. (24! x i8|.)
R.A. 1811, No. 351; Leeds Exhibition, 1839, No. 50.
72. SCARBOROUGH, TOWN AND CASTLE : MORNING, BOYS COLLECT-
ING CRABS. A. 27x40. B. Signed and dated> J. M. W.
Turner, R.A. 1809. (11x15!.)
A. R.A. 1811, No. 392 [?]; Leeds Exhibition, 1839, No.
B. R.A. 1811. No. 392 (?) Wallace collection.
73. THE BATTLE OF FORT ROCK, VAL D'AOUSTE PIEDMONT. 1796.
R.A. 1815, No. 192; N.G.
74. THE ERUPTION OF THE SOUFFRIER MOUNTAINS IN THE ISLAND
OF ST. VINCENT AT MIDNIGHT ON THE 30TH OF APRIL, 1812,
from a sketch taken at the time by Hugh P. Keane, Esq.
R.A. 1815, No. 258; Agnew's in 1903.
75. THE PASSAGE OF MOUNT ST. GOTHARD, TAKEN FROM THE
CENTRE OF THE TfiUFELS BROCH (DEVIL'S BRIDGE). Signed
J. M. W. Turner, R.A. 1804. R.A. 1815, No. 281; Fawkes
An oil picture of this subject (31 x 24) was lent to O.M.
1885, N O- 18.
76. THE GREAT FALL OF THE RlECHENBACH ; IN THE VALLEY OF
HASLE, SWITZERLAND. Signed and dated,]. M. W. Turner,
R.A. 1804. (40x27.) R.A. 1815, No. 292; O.M. 1886, No.
(Collection of Mr. D. Currie. [A.])
i62 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
77. LAKE OF LUCERNE, FROM THE LANDING PLACE AT FLAELEN,
LOOKING TOWARDS BAUEN, AND TELL'S CHAPEL, SWITZER-
LAND. Signed, J. M. W. T. (26|X39f.) R.A. 1815, No.
316. Sale, 1890, ^2,310.
78. LANDSCAPE : COMPOSITION OF TIVOLI. Signed and dated, 1817.
(26x40.) R.A. 1818, No. 474. Sale, 1899, ,1,785 (Agnew).
(Collection of Sir J. Joicey, Bart [A.])
79. RISE OF THE RIVER STOUR AT STOURHEAD. (261x40^.) R.A.
1825, No. 465; Guildhall, 1899, No. 124.
80. MESSIEURS LES VOYAGEURS, ON THEIR RETURN FROM ITALY
(PAR LA DILIGENCE), IN A SNOWDRIFT UPON MOUNT TARRAR.
22ND OF JANUARY, 1829. (21^x29^.) R.A. 1829, No. 520.
(In the possession of Messrs. Agnew, 1899.)
(Collection of S. G. Killand, Esq. [A.])
81. FUNERAL OF SIR THOMAS LAWRENCE, A SKETCH FROM MEMORY.
Inscribed, " Funeral of Sir Tho 8 . Lawrence P. R.A. Jan.
21, 1830. Sketch from memory J. M.' W. T." (22x30.)
R.A. 1830, No. 493; N.G.
82. MOONLIGHT, A STUDY AT MILLBANK. Panel 111x151. R.A.
1797, No. 136; N.G., No. 459.
83. FISHERMEN COMING A SHORE AT SUN SET, PREVIOUS TO A GALE.
R.A. 1797, No. 279.
84. WINESDALE, YORKSHIRE, AN AUTUMNAL MORNING. R.A. 1798,
No. 1 1 8.
85. MORNING AMONGST THE CONISTON FELLS, CUMBERLAND. (Can-
vas 47x35.) R.A. 1798, No. 196; N.G. No. 461.
86. DUNSTANBOROUGH CASTLE, N.E. COAST OF NORTHUMBERLAND.
SUN-RISE AFTER A SQUALLY NIGHT. (Canvas 36 x 48.) R.A.
1798, No. 322 ; City Art Gallery, Melbourne, presented by
the Duke of Westminster.
87. FISHERMEN BECALMED PREVIOUS TO A STORM, TWILIGHT. R.A.
1799, No. 55.
88. HARLECH CASTLE, FROM TWGWYN FERRY, SUMMER'S EVENING
TWILIGHT. R.A. 1799, No. 192.
89. BATTLE OF THE NILE AT 10 O'CLOCK, WHEN THE L'ORIENT BLEW
CATALOGUE OF EXHIBITED WORKS 163
UP, FROM THE STATION OF THE GUN-BOATS, BETWEEN THE
BATTERY AND CASTLE OF ABOUKIR. R.A. 1799, No. 275; ex-
hibited by the XIX Century Art Society, July, 1886.
90. BUTTERMERE LAKE, WITH PART OF CROMACKWATER, CUMBER-
LAND, A SHOWER. (Canvas 35x471.) R.A. 1799, No. 527;
N.G. No. 460.
91. KlLGARRAN CASTLE ON THE TWYVEY, HAZY SUNRISE PREVIOUS
TO A SULTRY DAY. Canvas 36x48. R.A. 1799, No. 305.
There appear to be at least five pictures of Kilgarran by
Turner in existence. The largest are two exact duplicates,
answering to the description and measurements given
above ; and, in all probability, one of these was the picture
exhibited in the Academy.
Of these (A) was lent O.M. 1881, No. 173; and Guild-
hall, 1899, No. i. This picture is distinguished by a deep
(B) was lent to the Guildhall, 1892, No. 93, and 1899,
The third seems ultimately to have passed into the pos-
session of Mr. Martin H. Colnaghi, by whom it was lent
to O.M. 1891, No. 18.
The fourth picture of this subject was possibly the same
example that in an anonymous sale in May, 1891, was sold
for 367 i os. (Barter).
(Now belongs to Mr. W. B. Beaumont. [A.])
The fifth picture with this title, a panel 9|x 131, was lent
to Guildhall, 1899, by S. N. Castle, Esq., No. 5.
92. DOLBADERN CASTLE, NORTH WALES. (Canvas 47 x 35^. ) R.A.
1800, No. 200. COLLECTION: The Royal Academy; the
Artist's Diploma work.
93. THE FIFTH PLAGUE OF EGYPT. Exodus ix. 23. "AND THE
LORD SENT TlHUNDER AND HAIL, AND THE FIRE RAN ALONG
THE GROUND." (Canvas 47x71.) R.A. 1800, No. 206;
Guildhall, 1899, No. 9.
94. DUTCH BOATS IN A GALE ; FISHERMEN ENDEAVOURING TO PUT
THEIR FISH ON BOARD. (Canvas 60x84.) -R.A. 1801, No.
157; Bridgewater Gallery.
95. THE ARMY OF THE MEDES DESTROYED IN THE DESART BY A
WHIRLWIND, FORETOLD BY JEREMIAH. Chap. XV, Ver. 32
and 33. R.A. 1801, No. 281.
1 64 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
96. FISHERMEN UPON A LEE-SHORE, IN SQUALLY WEATHER. (Canvas
351x48.) R.A. 1802, No. no; Guildhall, 1899, No. 7.
97. THE TENTH PLAGUE OF EGYPT. Exodus xii, 29, 30. (Canvas
571; x 931- ) R - A - l8 Q2, N O- 153; N.G. No. 470.
98. SHIPS BEARING UP FOR ANCHORAGE. Signed, J. M. W. Turner,
P. (Canvas 47x71 [?].) R.A. 1802, No. 227; O.M. 1892,
99. JASON. (Canvas 351x471.) R.A. 1802, No. 519; N.G. No.
100. BONNEVILLE, SAVOY, WITH MONT BLANC. (Canvas 23-|x 48^.)
R.A. 1803, No. 24; O.M. 1895, No. 134.
101. THE FESTIVAL UPON THE OPENING OF THE VINTAGE OF MACON.
(Canvas 57x93.) O.M. 1893, No. 137.
102. CALAIS PIER, WITH FRENCH POISSARDS PREPARING FOR SEA:
AN ENGLISH PACKET ARRIVING. (Canvas 67 X94|.) R.A.
1803, No. J 4 6 ; N.G. No. 472.
103. HOLY FAMILY. (Canvas 41 x 56.) R.A. 1803, No. 156; N.G.
104. CHATEAUX DE ST. MICHAEL, BONNEVILLE, SAVOY. (Can-
vas 351x47.) R.A. 1803, No. 237; O.M. 1889, No.
A replica in water-colour in the collection at Farnley
Hall, O.M. 1886, 38.
105. BOATS CARRYING OUT ANCHORS AND CABLES TO DUTCH MEN
OF WAR IN 1665. (Canvas 40x51.) R.A. 1804, No 183;
Sir George Donaldson. O.M. 1903, No. 12.
106. NARCISSUS AND ECHO. (Canvas 34x46.) R.A. 1804, No.
207; O.M. 1888, No. n.
107. FALL OF THE RHINE AT SCHAFFHAUSEN. (Canvas 57x92.)
R.A. 1806, No. 182; O.M. 1879, No. 169.
1 08. THE GODDESS OF DISCORD CHOOSING THE APPLE OF CONTEN-
TION IN THE GARDEN OF THE HESPERIDES. (Canvas
59^x84.) B.I. 1806, S.R. No. 55; N.G. No. 477.
109. A COUNTRY BLACKSMITH, DISPUTING UPON THE PRICE OF IRON
AND THE PRICE CHARGED TO THE BUTCHER FOR SHOEING
HIS PONEY. (Panel, 22^x30!.) R.A. 1807, No. 135; N.G.
1 10. SUN RISING THROUGH VAPOUR; FISHERMEN CLEANING AND
SELLING FISH. (Canvas 52x70.) R.A. 1807, No. 162;
N.G. No. 479.
CATALOGUE OF EXHIBITED WORKS 165
A replica formerly in the Farnley Hall Gallery was sold
in 1890 for ^1,050.
This is one of the two pictures (the other is No. 134
post] bequeathed to the nation by Turner, on condition
that they should hang by the side of two by Claude.
111. THE UNPAID BILL, OR THE DOCTOR REPROVING HIS SON'S
PRODIGALITY. (Panel, 24x31!.) R.A. 1808, No. 116;
O.M. 1882, No. 30.
112. THE BATTLE OF TRAFALGAR, AS SEEN FROM THE MIZEN STAR-
BOARD SHROUDS OF THE VICTORY. (Canvas 68 x 94). B.I.
1808, S.R. No. 359; N.G. No. 480.
Turner painted two pictures of the battle of Trafalgar,
but the present, usually known as the Death of Nelson ,
was alone exhibited during the painter's life-time.
The second was painted for King George IV, and is
now at Greenwich Hospital. It represents a general view
of the battle. (Thorn bury, pp. 288, 334, 428.) It is also
engraved in the Turner Gallery. In the N.G. No. 556, is
a large oil sketch for this second picture.
113. SPITHEAD. BOAT'S CREW RECOVERING AN ANCHOR. (Canvas
67x92.) R.A. 1809, No. 22; N.G. No. 481.
114. TABLEY, THE SEAT OF SIR J. F. LEICESTER, BART. WINDY
DAY. (Canvas 36x47^.) R.A. 1809; O.M. 1881, No.
115. TABLEY, CHESHIRE, THE SEAT OF SIR J. F. LEICESTER, BART. ;
CALM MORNING. (Canvas 36x48^.) R.A. 1809, No. 146;
116. THE GARRETEER'S PETITION. (Panel, 21x30.) R.A. 1809,
No. 175; N.G. No. 482.
117. LOWTHER CASTLE, WESTMORELAND, THE SEAT OF THE EARL
OF LONSDALE, NORTH-WEST VIEW FROM ULLESWATERJ
EVENING. (Canvas 35^x48.) R.A. 1810, No. 85; O.M.
1891, No. 131.
u 8. LOWTHER CASTLE, WESTMORELAND, THE SEAT OF THE EARL
OF LONSDALE (THE NORTH FRONT), WITH THE RIVER LOW-
THER: MID-DAY. (Canvas 35^x48.) R.A. 1810, No. 115;
O.M. 1876, No. 33, 1891, No. 135.
119. PETWORTH, SUSSEX, THE SEAT OF THE EARL OF EGREMONT:
DEWY MORNING. (Canvas 36 X47.) R.A. 1810, No. 158;
O.M. 1892, No. 133.
166 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
120. MERCURY AND HERSE. (Canvas 75x63.) R.A. 1811, No.
70; Guildhall, 1899, No. 20.
121. APOLLO AND PYTHON. (Canvas 57^x931.) R.A. 1811,
No. 81; N.G. No. 488.
122. SOMER-HlLL, NEAR TUNBRIDGE, THE SEAT OF W. F. WOOD-
GATE, ESQ. (Canvas 35x47.) R.A. 1811, No. 177;
Guildhall, 1899, No. 17.
123. WHALLEY BRIDGE AND ABBEY, LANCASHIRE. DYERS WASH-
ING AND DRYING CLOTH. (Canvas 24x34^.) R.A. 1811,
No. 244. Lord Wantage.
124. A VIEW OF THE CASTLE OF ST. MICHAEL, NEAR BONNEVILLE,
SAVOY. (Canvas 381x46!.) R.A. 1812, No. 149. John
G. Johnson, Esq. of Philadelphia Pennsylvania [?].
125. VIEW OF THE HIGH STREET, OXFORD. Signed J. M. W.
Turner, R.A. (Canvas 261x381.) R.A. 1812, No. 161 ;
Grosvenor Gallery, 1889, No. 34.
126. VIEW OF OXFORD FRON THE ABINGDON ROAD. (Canvas
26x361.) R.A. 1812, No. 169. Sale 1899, ^"4,200 (Tooth).
127. SNOW STORM: HANNIBAL AND HIS ARMY CROSSING THE ALPS.
(Canvas 57x93.) R.A. 1812, No. 258; N.G. 490.
128. FROSTY MORNING. (Canvas 45x69.) R.A. 1813, No. 15;
N.G. No. 492.
129. THE DELUGE. (Canvas 57x93.) R.A. 1813, No. 213; N.G.
130. DIDO AND AENEAS. (Canvas 58x95.) R.A. 1814, No. 177;
N.G. No. 494.
131. APULLIA IN SEARCH OF APULLUS, mde OVID. (Canvas
57x93.) B.I. 1814; S.R. No. 168; N.G. No. 495.
132. BLIGH SAND, NEAR SHEERNESS; FISHING BOATS, TRAWLING.
(Canvas 35x47.) R.A. 1815, No. 6; N.G. No. 496.
133. CROSSING THE BROOK. R.A. 1815, No. 94; N.G. No. 497.
What is said to be an original finished sketch for this
picture is in the collection of Mr. C. B. Walker, of Min-
neapolis, into which it passed from that of the Earl of
134. DIDO BUILDING CARTHAGE; OR THE RISE OF THE CARTHA-
GINIAN EMPIRE. (Canvas 601x891.) R.A. 1815, No. 158;
N.G. No. 498.
135. THE TEMPLE OF JUPITER PANELLENIUS RESTORED. (Canvas
57x93.) R.A. 1816, No. 55. Sale 1876, ^2,ioo(Goupil).
CATALOGUE OF EXHIBITED WORKS 167
136. VIEW OF THE TEMPLE OF JUPITER PANELLENIUS IN THE
ISLAND OF .^GINA WITH THE GREEK NATIONAL DANCE OF
THE ROMAIKA | THE ACROPOLIS OF ATHENS IN THE DISTANCE.
PAINTED FROM A SKETCH TAKEN BY H. GALLY KNIGHT,
ESQ. IN 1810. Signed. (Canvas 271x35.) R.A. 1816,
No. 71 ; Whitworth Institute, Manchester, No. 370.
137. THE DECLINE OF THE CARTHAGINIAN EMPIRE. ROME,
BEING DETERMINED ON THE OVERTHROW OF HER HATED
RIVAL, DEMANDED FROM HER SUCH TERMS AS MIGHT EITHER
FORCE HER INTO WAR, OR RUIN HER BY COMPLIANCE ; THE
ENERVATED CARTHAGINIANS, IN THEIR ANXIETY FOR PEACE
CONSENTED TO GIVE UP EVEN THEIR ARMS AND THEIR
CHILDREN. (Canvas 671x95.) R.A. 1817, No. 195; N.G.
138. VIEW OF THE TEMPLE OF JUPITER PANELLENIUS IN THE
ISLAND OF ^EGINA WITH THE GREEK NATIONAL DANCE OF
THE ROMAIKA ; THE ACROPOLIS IN THE DISTANCE. PAINTED
FROM A SKETCH TAKEN BY H. GALLY KNIGHT, ESQ. IN
1810. (Canvas 46x70.) B.I. 1817, No. 266. B.I. 1856,
139. RABY CASTLE, THE SEAT OF THE EARL OF DARLINGTON.
R.A. 1818, No. 129. In the possession of Messrs. Wallis,
of the French Gallery, London, 1899.
(Collection of H. Walters, Esq., of Baltimore. [A.])
140. DORT OR DORDRECHT, THE DORT PACKET-BOAT FROM
ROTTERDAM BECALMED. Signed and dated, J. M. W.
Turner, R.A. 1818, Dort. (Canvas 62x911.) R.A. 1818,
No. 166. Walter Fawkes, Esq., of Farnley Hall, and his
141. THE FIELD OF WATERLOO. (Canvas 59x93.) R.A. 1818,
No. 263; N.G. No. 500.
142. ENTRANCE OF' THE MEUSE: ORANGE-MERCHANT ON THE BAR,
GOING TO PIECES; BRILL CHURCH BEARING S.E. BY S.,
MASENSLUYS E. BY S. (Canvas 67x941.) R.A. 1819,
No. 136; N.G. No. 501.
143. ENGLAND: RICHMOND HILL, ON THE PRINCE REGENT'S BIRTH-
DAY. (Canvas 70x132.) R.A. 1819, No. 206; N.G.
144. ROME FROM THE VATICAN. RAFFAELLE ACCOMPANIED BY
LA FORNARINA, PREPARING HIS PICTURES FOR THE DECORA-
1 68 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
TION OF THE LOGGIA. (Canvas 691x131.) R.A. 1820,
No 206; N.G. No. 503.
145. "WHAT YOU WILL." R.A. 1822, No. 114. Sale 1861,
^257 5J. (Agnew).
146. BAY OF BALE, WITH APOLLO AND THE SYBIL. (Canvas
57X93l-) R.A. 1823, No. 77; N.G. No. 505.
147. HARBOUR OF DIEPPE (CHANGEMENT DE DOMICILE). (Canvas
59x89.) R.A. 1825, No. 152. John Naylor, of Leighton
148. COLOGNE, THE ARRIVAL OF A PACKET-BOAT. EVENING.
(Canvas 59x89.) R.A. 1826, No. 72; A.T.M. 1857,
This is the picture whose glowing tone so injured the
effect of two portraits by Lawrence, near to which it hung
in the Academy, that Turner darkened it upon varnishing
day with a coat of lamp-black in water colour. (Thorn-
bury, pp. 274, 347.) It must not be confounded with the
water-colour drawing, formerly in the Windus collection,
which is engraved in the Turner Gallery.
149. FORUM ROMANUM, FOR MR. SOANE'S MUSEUM. (Canvas
50x89, arched top.) R.A. 1826, No. 132. N.G. No. 504.
150. THE SEAT OF WILLIAM MOFFATT, ESQ., AT MORTLAKE.
EARLY (SUMMER'S) MORNING. (Canvas 35x47.) R.A.
1826, No. 324; Guildhall, 1899, No. 22.
151. "Now FOR THE PAINTER" (ROPE). PASSENGERS GOING ON
BOARD. (Canvas 59x89.) R.A. 1827, No. 74; A.T.M.
1857, No. 295.
152. PORT RUYSDAEL. (Canvas 36x48.) R.A. 1827, No. 147;
G. A. Drummond, Esq., of Montreal.
153. REMBRANDT'S DAUGHTER. (Canvas 461x44^-.) R.A. 1827,
No. 166; O.M. 1877, No. 261.
154. MORTLAKE TERRACE, THE SEAT OF WILLIAM MOFFAT, ESQ.,
SUMMER'S EVENING. R.A., 1827, No. 300; Guildhall,
1899, No. 23.
It is said that the dog in the foreground of this picture
was cut out of black paper, and stuck on to the canvas
by Sir Edwin Landseer in Turner's absence. Magazine
of Art, 1899, p. 403.
155. SCENE IN DERBYSHIRE. R.A. 1827, No. 319.
156. DlDO DIRECTING THE EQUIPMENT OF THE FLEET, OR THE
CATALOGUE OF EXHIBITED WORKS 169
MORNING OF THE CARTHAGINIAN EMPIRE. (Canvas 59 X 89.)
R.A. 1828, No. 70; N.G. No. 506.
157. EAST COWES CASTLE, THE SEAT OF J. NASH, ESQ., THE
REGATTA BEATING TO WINDWARD. R.A. 1828, No. 113;
sale 1835, ^199 los. (Tiffin.)
158. EAST COWES CASTLE, THE SEAT OF J. NASH, ESQ.; THE
REGATTA STARTING FOR THEIR MOORINGS. (Canvas 35 X 47.)
R.A. 1828, No. 152; V.A.M. 1856, No. 210.
159. BOCCACCIO RELATING THE TALE OF THE BlRDCAGE. (Canvas
48x36.) R.A. 1828, No 262; N.G. No. 507.
160. THE BANKS OF THE LOIRE. R.A. 1829, No. 19; Kunsthalle,
Hamburg, Schwabe collection, No. 114.
161. ULYSSES DERIDING POLYPHEMUS HOMER'S ODYSSEY.
(Canvas 51 X79.) R.A. 1829, No. 42; N.G. No. 508.
162. THE LORETTO NECKLACE. (Canvas 52x69.) R.A. 1829,
No. 337; N.G. No. 509.
163. LINLITHGOW PALACE. (Canvas 35x47.) Royal Manchester
Institution, 1829, No. 271; O.M. 1888, No. 37.
164. PILATE WASHING HIS HANDS. (St. Matt, xxvii, 24.) (Canvas
35x47.) R.A. 1830, No. 7; N.G. No. 510.
165. VIEW OF ORVIETO ; PAINTED IN ROME. (Canvas 36x48.) R.A.
1830, No. 30; N.G. No. 511.
1 66. PALESTRINA COMPOSITION. (Canvas 56x98^.) R.A. 1830,
No. 181. (Mrs. Williams.)
167. JESSICA. (Canvas 48x36.) R.A. 1830, No. 226. (Petworth
1 68. CALAIS SANDS, LOW WATER: POISSARDS COLLECTING BAIT.
(Canvas 281x42.) R.A. 1830, No. 304; sale 1872,^1,785
(Agnew); Bury Art Gallery, Wrigley gift, from the collec-
tion of Lord Bective. [A.]
169. FISH-MARKET ON THE SANDS; THE SUN RISING THROUGH
VAPOUR. (Canvas 34x44.) R.A. 1830, No. 432; Guildhall,
1892, No. 118, and 1899, No. 31.
170. LIFE-BOAT AND MANBY APPARATUS GOING OFF TO A STRANDED
VESSEL, MAKING SIGNAL (BLUE LIGHTS) OF DISTRESS. (Canvas,
35x47.) R.A. 1831, No. 73; V.A.M. 1856, No. 211.
171. CALIGULA'S PALACE AND BRIDGE. (Canvas 56x98.) R.A.
1831, No. 162; N.G. 512.
172. VISION OF MEDEA. (Canvas 68x98.) R.A. 1831, No. 178;
N.G. No. 513.
170 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
173. LUCY, COUNTESS OF CARLISLE, AND DOROTHY PERCY'S VISIT
TO THEIR FATHER LORD PERCY WHEN UNDER ATTAINDER
UPON THE SUPPOSITION OF HIS BEING CONCERNED IN THE GUN-
POWDER PLOT. (Panel 15^x271.) R.A. 1831, No. 263;
N.G. No. 515.
174. ADMIRAL VAN TROMP'S BARGE AT THE ENTRANCE OF THE
TEXEL, 1645. (Canvas 35^x48.) R.A. 1831, No. 288; Sir
John Soane's Museum.
175. WATTEAU, STUDY BY FRESNOY'S RULES. (Panel 151x27^.)
R.A. 1831, No. 298; N.G. No. 514.
176. "IN THIS ARDUOUS SERVICE (OF RECONNOISSANCE) ON THE
FRENCH COAST, 1805, ONE OF OUR CRUISERS TOOK THE
GROUND, AND HAD TO SUSTAIN THE ATTACK OF THE FLYING
ARTILLERY ALONG SHORE, THE BATTERIES, AND THE FORT OF
VlMIEUX WHICH FIRED HEATED SHOT, UNTIL SHE COULD
WARP OFF AT THE RISING TIDE WHICH SET IN WITH ALL THE
APPEARANCE OF A STORMY NIGHT. " (Canvas 28 X 42.) R.A.
1831, No. 406; Lenox Library, New York City, No. 86.
177. CHILDE HAROLD'S PILGRIMAGE ITALY. (Canvas 56x98.)
R.A. 1832, No. 70; N.G. No. 516.
178. THE PRINCE OF ORANGE, WILLIAM III, EMBARKED FROM
HOLLAND AND LANDED AT TORBAY, NOVEMBER 4TH, 1688,
AFTER A STORMY PASSAGE. (Canvas 35^X47^.) R.A. 1832,
No. 153; N.G. 1847, No. 369.
179. VAN TROMP'S SHALLOP AT THE ENTRANCE OF THE SCHELDT.
(Canvas 35x47.) R.A. 1832, No. 206; O.M. 1894, No. 103.
1 80. HELVOETSLUYS ; THE CITY OF UTRECHT, 64, GOING TO SEA.
(Canvas 36x50.) R.A. 1832, No. 284; James Ross, Esq.,
181. " THEN NEBUCHADNEZZAR CAME NEAR TO THE MOUTH OF THE
BURNING FIERY FURNACE, AND SAID, ' SHADRACH, MESHACH,
AND ABEDNEGO, COME FORTH AND COME HITHER.' THEN
SHADRACH, MESHACH, AND ABEDNEGO CAME FORTH OF THE
MIDST OF THE FIRE." Daniel, chap, iii, ver. 26. (Panel 35^
X27.) R.A. 1832, No. 355; N.G. No. 517.
182. STAFFA, FINGAL'S CAVE. Signed, J. M. W. Turner, R.A.
(Canvas 36x49.) R.A. 1832, No. 453. Lenox Library,
New York City, 1845, No. 90.
183. ROTTERDAM FERRY-BOAT. R.A. 1833, No. 8.
184. BRIDGE OF SIGHS, DUCAL PALACE AND CUSTOM HOUSE,
CATALOGUE OF EXHIBITED WORKS 171
VENICE : CANALETTI PAINTING. (Panel 20x32.) R. A. 1833,
No. 109; N.G. 1847, No. 370.
185. VAN GOYEN LOOKING OUT FOR A SUBJECT. R.A. 1833, No.
125. Sale, 1887, .6,825 (Agnew).
1 86. VAN TROMP RETURNING AFTER THE BATTLE OFF THE DOGGER
BANK. (Canvas 36x48.) R.A. 1833, No. 146; N.G. No. 537.
187. DUCAL PALACE, VENICE. R.A. 1833, No. 169.
1 88. MOUTH OF THE SEINE. QUILLE-BCEUF. (Canvas 35^x47!.)
R.A. 1833, No. 462; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Another picture (27 x 34) of this subject, apparently in
water colours (Athenceum, 27th September, 1884) was sold
with the collection of Mr. J. Bibby, of Liverpool, in 1900
for 126 (Ichenhauser), (and is now in the Museum of
Fine Arts, Boston. [A.])
189. THE FOUNTAIN OF INDOLENCE. (Canvas 41 x64) R.A. 1834,
No. 52 ; George Vanderbilt, Esq.
190. THE GOLDEN BOUGH. MS. Fallacies of Hope. (Canvas 4i|x
64^. R.A. 1834, No. 75; N.G. 1847, No. 371.
191. VENICE. (Canvas 35^x48.) R.A. 1834, No. 175. John
Naylor, of Leighton Hall, Esq.
192. WRECKERS, COAST OF NORTHUMBERLAND, WITH A STEAM-
BOAT ASSISTING A SHIP OFF SHORE. (Canvas 35 x 47.) R.A.
1834, No. 199; A. M. Byers, Esq., of Pittsburg, Penn-
193. ST. MICHAEL'S MOUNT, CORNWALL. (Canvas 23x30.) R.A.
1834, No. 317; V.A.M. 1856, No. 209.
194. KEELMEN HEAVING IN COALS BY NIGHT. Signed, J. M. W. T.
(Canvas 35^x48.) R.A. 1835, No - 2 4J O.M. 1887, No. 14.
195. THE BRIGHT STONE OF HONOUR (EHRENBREITSTEIN) AND TOMB
OF MARCEAU FROM BYRON'S "CHILDE HAROLD." (Canvas
36^x481.) R.A. 1835, No. 74; Guildhall, 1899, No. 33.
196. VENICE, FROM THE PORCH OF MADONNA DELLA SALUTE. Signed
(on a floating plank in the left corner), J. M. W. T. (Can-
vas 36x48.) R.A. 1835, No. 155; Metropolitan Museum,
New York, 1900.
197. LINE-FISHING, OFF HASTINGS. (Canvas 23x30.) R.A. 1835,
No. 234; V.A.M. 1856, No. 207.
198. THE BURNING OF THE HOUSES OF LORDS AND COMMONS,
OCTOBER i6TH, 1834. (Canvas 36|X48i[?].) R.A. 1835,
No. 294. Sale, 1888, 1,575 (Ponsford) [?].
172 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
199. THE BURNING OF THE HOUSES OF LORDS AND COMMONS,
i6xH OCTOBER, 1834. (Canvas 35x47 [?].) B.I. 1835, No.
58; O.M. 1885, No. i 97 [?j.
200. JULIET AND HER NURSE. (Canvas 36x48.) R.A. 1836.
No. 73. Colonel O. H. Paine, of New York.
201. ROME FROM MOUNT AVENTINE. (Canvas 35^x48.) R.A.
1836, No. 144; O.M. 1896, No. 12.
202. MERCURY AND ARGUS. (Canvas 59x43.) R.A. 1836, No.
182; Paris Exhibition, 1900.
203. THE GRAND CANAL, VENICE. (Canvas 59x64.) R.A. 1837,
No. 31 ; Guildhall, 1899, No. 34.
204. STORY OF APOLLO AND DAPHNE, OVID'S Metamorphoses.
(Canvas 42^x77^.) R.A. 1837, No - I 35 N -G. No. 520.
205. THE PARTING OF HERO AND LEANDER, FROM THE GREEK OF
MUSAEUS. (Canvas 57^x93.) R.A. 1837, No. 274;
N.G. No. 521.
206. SNOW-STORM, AVALANCHE AND INUNDATION A SCENE IN THE
UPPER PART OF VAL D'AOUT, PlEDMONT. (Canvas 36^ X 47^. )
R.A. 1837, No - 4 8 - Sale l8 95> ^4.200 (Agnew). Sir
Donald Currie, Bart. [A.]
207. REGULUS. (Canvas 36x48.) B.I. 1837, No. 120; N.G.
208. PHRYNE GOING TO THE PUBLIC BATH AS VENUS DEMOS-
THENES TAUNTED BY ^EscmNES. (Canvas 70 x 65.) R.A.
1838, No. 31. N.G. No. 522.
209. MODERN ITALY THE PIFFERARI. (Canvas 36x48.) R.A.
1838, No. 57; Corporation Galleries, Glasgow, 1896.
210. ANCIENT ITALY OVID BANISHED FROM ROME. (Canvas
36x48.) R.A. 1838, No. 192. Sale 1878, ^5,460 (Agnew),
afterwards belonged to Mr. Kirkman Hodgson and then
to 'Messrs. Sedelmeyer.
211. FISHING-BOATS, WITH HUCKSTERS BARGAINING FOR FISH.
(Canvas 79x100.) B.I. 1838, No. 134.
212. THE FIGHTING " TfiMERAIRE " TUGGED TO HER LAST BERTH
TO BE BROKEN UP, 1838. (Canvas 351x471.) R.A. 1839,
No. 43; N.G. No. 524.
213. ANCIENT ROME, AGRIPPINA LANDING WITH THE ASHES OF
GERMANICUS. THE TRIUMPHAL BRIDGE AND PALACE OF
THE CAESARS RESTORED. (Canvas 35X47!-.) R.A. 1839,
No. 66. N.G. No. 523.
CATALOGUE OF EXHIBITED WORKS 173
214. MODERN ROME CAMPO VACCINO. (Canvas 35^x48.) R.A.
1839, No. 70; O.M. 1896, No. 8.
215. PLUTO CARRYING OFF PROSERPINE, Ovid's Metam. (Canvas
35x47.) R.A. 1839, No. 360; Guildhall, 1892, No. 112,
and 1899, No. 35.
216. CICERO AT HIS VILLA. (Canvas 35^x47^-.) R.A. 1839,
No. 463. Sale 1882, ^1,890 (bought in).
217. THE FOUNTAIN OF FALLACY. (Canvas 56x80, including
frame.) B.I. 1839, No 58.
Collection of Mr. Blake, of Portland Place (see Ruskin's
Diary, Feb., 1844).
218. BACCHUS AND ARIADNE. (Canvas, circular, 30^.) R.A.
1840, No. 27 f N.G. No. 525.
219. VENICE, THE BRIDGE OF SIGHS. (Canvas 24x36.) R.A.
1840, No. 55; N.G. No. 527.
220. VENICE FROM THE CANALE DELLA GIUDECCA, CHIESA DE S.
MARIA DELLA SALUTE, ETC. (Canvas 23x35.) R.A. 1840,
No. 71; V.A.M. 1856, No. 208.
221. SLAVERS THROWING OVERBOARD THE DEAD AND DYING
TYPHON COMING ON. (Canvas 36x48.) R.A. 1840, No.
203 ; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts.
222. THE NEW MOON, OR " I'VE LOST MY BOAT, YOU SHAN'T HAVE
YOUR HOOP." (Panel 25x31.) R.A. 1840, No. 234;
N.G. No. 526.
223. ROCKETS AND BLUE LIGHTS (CLOSE AT HAND) TO WARN STEAM-
BOATS OF SHOAL-WATER. (Canvas 35^x47.) R.A. 1840,
No. 419. Mr. Yerkes.
224. NEAPOLITAN FISHER-GIRLS SURPRISED BATHING BY MOON-
LIGHT. (Panel 25x31.) R.A. 1840, No. 461. Sale 1875,
^"525 (Ellis), George Coats, Esq.; exhibited at Glasgow,
225. DUCAL PALACE, DOGANO, WITH PART OF SAN GEORGIO,
VENICE. R.A. 1841, No. 53. Sale 1853, .1,155 (Egg).
226. GIUDECCA, LA DONNA DELLA SALUTE AND SAN GEORGIO.
(Canvas 24x36.) R.A. 1841, No. 66; Sir Donald Currie,
Guildhall, 1899, No. 32.
227. ROSENEU, SEAT OF H.R.H. PRINCE ALBERT OF COBURG,
NEAR COBURG, GERMANY. (Canvas 38x49.) R.A. 1841,
No. 176; Guildhall, 1899, No. 26.
228. DEPOSITING OF JOHN BELLINI'S THREE PICTURES IN LA CHIESA
174 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
REDENTORE, VENICE. (Canvas 28x44.) R.A. 1841, No.
277; Paris Exhibition, 1900.
229. DAWN OF CHRISTIANITY (FLIGHT INTO EGYPT). Circular.
R.A. 1841, No. 532. Sale 1872, 966 (Rawlings) ; after-
wards belonged to Mr. Kirkman Hodgson and now to
Sir Donald Currie. [A.]
230. GLAUCUS AND SCYLLA OvicTs Metamorphoses. R.A. 1841,
No. 542. Sale 1883, ^598 us.
231. THE DOGANO, SAN GIORGIO, CITELLA, FROM THE STEPS OF
THE EUROPA. (Canvas 214. x 341.) R.A. 1842, No. 52;
N.G. 1847, No. 372.
232. CAMPO SANTO, VENICE. (Canvas 24x36.) R.A. 1842, No.
73; Guildhall, 1899, No. 36.
233. SNOW-STORMSTEAM-BOAT OFF A HARBOUR'S MOUTH MAKING
SIGNALS IN SHALLOW WATER, AND GOING BY THE LEAD.
THE AUTHOR WAS IN THIS STORM ON THE NIGHT THE ARIEL
LEFT HARWICH. (Canvas 35^x47^.) R.A. 1842, No. 182.
N.G. No. 530.
234. PEACE BURIAL AT SEA. (Canvas, octagonal, diameter 32^.)
R.A. 1842, No. 338; N.G. No. 528.
This picture is sometimes known as the Burial of Sir
David Wilkie; it is well known to have been painted to
commemorate that event.
235. WAR. THE EXILE AND THE ROCK-LIMPET. (Canvas, circular,
3<>.) R.A. 1842, No. 353; N.G. No. 529.
236. THE OPENING OF THE WALHALLA, 1842. " L'honneur au Roi
de Baviere." (Canvas 42^x771.) R.A. 1843, No. 14;
N.G. No. 533.
237. THE SUN OF VENICE GOING TO SEA. (Canvas 24x36.) R.A.
1843, No. 129; N.G. No. 535.
238. DOGANA AND MADONNA DELLA SALUTE, VENICE. Signed,
J. M. W. T. (Canvas 24x36.) R.A. 1843, No. 144; Bir-
mingham, 1899, No. 7.
239. SHADE AND DARKNESS THE EVENING OF THE DELUGE. Can-
vas, octagon, 30^. R.A. 1843, No. 363; N.G. No.
240. LIGHT AND COLOUR. (GOETHE'S THEORY) THE MORNING
AFTER THE DELUGE MOSES WRITING THE BOOK OF GENE-
SIS. (Canvas, octagon 30^.) R.A. 1843, No. 385; N.G.
CATALOGUE OF EXHIBITED WORKS 175
241. ST. BENEDETTO, LOOKING TOWARDS FUSINA. (Canvas 24 x
36.) R.A. 1843, No. 554; N.G. No. 534.
242. OSTEND. (Canvas 34x47.) R.A. 1844, No. n; Cornelius
The picture described above was bought by Mr. Vander-
bilt, without a pedigree, as a picture of Boulogne Har-
bour. Mr. Thomas Moran, N.A., first suggested that it
was most probably the picture of Ostend exhibited in
243. FISHING BOATS BRINGING A DISABLED SHIP INTO PORT RYS-
DAEL. (Canvas 35x47.) R.A. 1844, No. 21; N.G. No.
244. RAIN, STEAM AND SPEED THE GREAT WESTERN RAILWAY.
(Canvas 36x48.) R.A. 1844, No. 62; N.G. No. 538.
245. VAN TROMP, GOING ABOUT TO PLEASE HIS MASTERS, SHIPS A
SEA, GETTING A GOOD WETTING. Vide " LlVCS of Dutch
Painters." (Canvas 36x48.) R.A. 1844, No. 253; Royal
Holloway College Gallery.
246. VENICE MARIA DELLA SALUTE. (Canvas 24x36.) R.A. 1844,
No. 345; N.G. No. 539.
247. APPROACH TO VENICE. (Canvas.) R.A. 1844, No. 356; J.M.
1887, No. 613; Sir Charles Tennant, Bart. [A.].
248. VENICE QUAY, DUCAL PALACE. (Canvas 23^x35^.) R.A.
1844, No. 430; N.G. No. 540.
249. WHALERS. Vide " Beale's Voyage," p. 163. (Canvas 35 x
47.) R.A. 1845, No. 50; N.G. No. 545.
250. WHALERS. Vide " Beale's Voyage," p. 175. (Canvas 35 x
48.) R.A. 1845, No. 77; Metropolitan Museum, New
York (Wolfe Gallery), 1896.
According to Redford a smaller picture 18 x 24 of the
same subject, was sold with the collection of T. Woolner,
R.A., 1875; for ^"325 io.y.
251. VENICE, EVENING, GOING TO THE BALL. MS. Fallacies of
Hope. (Canvas 23! X35f) R.A. 1845, No. 117; N.G. No.
252. MORNING, RETURNING FROM THE BALL, ST. MARTINO. MS.
Fallacies of Hope. (Canvas 231x35!.) R.A. 1845, No.
162; N.G. No. 544.
253. VENICE NOON. MS. Fallacies of Hope. (Canvas 23! x 351.)
R.A. 1845, No. 396; N.G. No. 541.
176 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
254. VENICE SUNSET, A FISHER. MS. Fallacies of Hope. (Canvas
23i*35i-) R - A - l8 45> No. 422; N.G. No. 542.
255. RETURNING FROM THE BALL (ST. MARTHA). (Canvas 24x36.)
R.A. 1846, No. 59; Guildhall, 1897, No. 67.
256. GOING TO THE BALL (SAN MARTiNo). (Canvas 25 x 37.) R.A.
1846, No. 74; Guildhall, 1897, No. 63.
257. "HURRAH FOR THE WHALER EREBUS! ANOTHER FISH!"
Beale's Voyage. (Canvas 35x47.) R.A. 1846, No. 237;
N.G. No. 546.
258. UNDINE GIVING THE RING TO MASSANIELLO, FISHERMAN OF
NAPLES. (Canvas 301 square.) R.A. 1846, No. 384; N.G.
259. THE ANGEL STANDING IN THE SUN. Revelations xix, v. 17,
18. (Canvas 30^ square.) R.A. 1846, No. 411; N.G. No.
260. WHALERS (BOILING BLUBBER) ENTANGLED IN FLAW ICE, EN-
DEAVOURING TO EXTRICATE THEMSELVES. (Canvas 35| X 47. )
R.A. 1846, No. 494; N.G. 547.
261. QUEEN MAB'S CAVE. (Canvas 35x47.) B.I. 1846, No. 57;
262. THE HERO OF A HUNDRED FIGHTS. AN IDEA SUGGESTED BY
THE GERMAN INVOCATION UPON CASTING THE BELL : IN ENG-
LAND CALLED TAPPING THE FURNACE. Fallacies of Hope.
(Canvas 35x47.) R.A. 1847, No. 180; N.G. No. 551.
263. THE WRECK BUOY. (Canvas 37x48.) R.A. 1849, No. 81 ;
Guildhall, 1899, No. 37.
264. VENUS AND ADONIS. Signed, J. M. W. Turner. (Canvas
59x47.) R.A. 1849, No. 206; Guildhall, 1897, No. 65.
265. MERCURY SENT TO ADMONISH ^NEAS. (Canvas 35x47.) R.A.
1850, No. 174; N.G. No. 553.
266. ^NEAS RELATING HIS STORY TO DlDO. R.A. 1850, No. 192.
267. THE VISIT TO THE TOMB. (Canvas 35^x47!.) R.A. 1850, No.
373; N.G. No. 555.
268. THE DEPARTURE OF THE FLEET. (Canvas 35 x 47.) R.A. 1850,
No. 482; N.G. No. 554.
CATALOGUE OF EXHIBITED WORKS 177
DRAWINGS SHOWN AT THE EXHI-
BITIONS BY W. R. COOKE,
ENGRAVER, AT HIS HOUSE 9, SOHO SQUARE,
ILFRACOMBE, NORTH DEVON, STORM AND SHIPWRECK.
Cooke's Exhibition, 1822, No. i.
Engraved in the " Southern Coast."
Cooke's Exhibition, 1822, No. 2.
Engraved in the " Southern Coast."
LYME REGIS, DORSETSHIRE, A SQUALL.
Cooke's Exhibition, 1822, No. 4.
Engraved in the " Southern Coast."
ERUPTION OF VESUVIUS.
Cooke's Exhibition, 1822, No. 8.
Engraved for " Delineations of Pompeii."
HASTINGS FROM THE SEA.
Cooke's Exhibition, 1882, No. 9.
Engraved for " Views of Hastings and its Vicinity."
TORBAY SEEN FROM BRIXHAM, DEVONSHIRE.
Cooke's Exhibition, 1822, No. 15.
Engraved in the " Southern Coast."
VIEW OF COLOGNE.
Cooke's Exhibition, 1822, No. 20. Lent by T. Tomkison,
Probably the drawing engraved by Goodall in 1824, and subse-
quently in the Windus collection.
Cooke's Exhibition, 1822, No. 26.
Engraved in the " Southern Coast."
BAY OF NAPLES WITH VESUVIUS, MORNING.
Cooke's Exhibition, 1822, No. 27.
178 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
THE LAND'S END, CORNWALL. APPROACHING THUNDER STORM.
Cooke's Exhibition, 1822, No. 31.
Engraved in the " Southern Coast."
WlNCHELSEA, SUSSEX, AND THE MILITARY CANAL.
Cooke's Exhibition, 1822, No. 91.
Engraved for " Views of Hastings and its Vicinity."
POOLE AND DISTANT VIEW OF CORFE CASTLE, DORSETSHIRE.
Cooke's Exhibition, 1822, No. 92.
Engraved in the " Southern Coast."
Cooke's Exhibition, 1822, No. 94.
Engraved in the " Southern Coast."
Cooke's Exhibition, 1822, No. 95.
Possibly the drawing, said to have been made for Mr. Munden,
sold in 1861 for $2 IQS. ; or that in the Windus collection sold
in 1868 for ^105.
LULWORTH CASTLE, DORSETSHIRE.
Cooke's Exhibition, 1822, No. 103.
Engraved in the " Southern Coast."
PENDENNIS CASTLE, CORNWALL : SCENE AFTER A WRECK.
Cooke's Exhibition, 1822, No. 104.
Engraved in the " Southern Coast."
Cooke's Exhibition, 1822, No. in.
Engraved in the " Southern Coast."
Cooke's Exhibition, 1822, No. 112.
Engraved in the " Southern Coast."
PLYMOUTH DOCK FROM NEAR MOUNT EDGECUMBE.
Cooke's Exhibition, 1822, No. 113.
Engraved in the " Southern Coast."
SAINT MICHAEL'S MOUNT, CORNWALL. SIR JOHN ST. AUBYN.
Cooke's Exhibition, 1822, No. 117.
Engraved in the " Southern Coast."
CATALOGUE OF EXHIBITED WORKS 179
EAST AND WEST LOOE, CORNWALL.
Cooke's Exhibition, 1822, No. 244.
Engraved in the " Southern Coast."
WESTMINSTER BRIDGE FROM THE SURREY SIDE LOOKING TO-
WARDS WESTMINSTER. AN EARLY DRAWING OF THE ARTIST.
Cooke's Exhibition, 1822, No. 271, lent by John Britton, Esq.
Bow AND ARROW CASTLE, ISLE OF PORTLAND.
Cooke's Exhibition, 1822, No. 279.
Engraved in the " Southern Coast."
Cooke's Exhibition, 1822, No. 294.
Engraved in the " Southern Coast."
FETCHAM PARK, SURREY. AN EARLY SPECIMEN OF THE ARTIST.
Cook's Exhibition, 1823, No. 5. Lent by Dr. Munro.
Cooke's Exhibition, 1823, No. 15.
Engraved in " Views in Sussex."
RAINBOW. A VIEW ON THE RHINE FROM DUNKHOLDER VINE-
YARD, OF OSTERSPEY AND FfiLTZEN BELOW BOSNART. THE
RHINE HERE MAKES ONE OF THE MOST CONSIDERABLE BENDS IN
ITS WHOLE COURSE, AND ASSUMES THE FORM OF A LAKE.
Cooke's Exhibition, 1823, No. 21. Lent by James Slegg, Esq
DOVER CASTLE. Drawn in December, 1822.
Cooke's Exhibition, 1823, No. 26.
This work is apparently the "large drawing for exhibition"
to which two entries in Cook's accounts refer. (Thornbury, p.
634.) And probably the work (measuring 16^x24) engraved by
Willmore, which was in the Dillon collection, and subsequently
in that of Mr. J. G. Chapman. It is now in the possession of Mr.
S. P. Avery of New York. Signed and dated, 1822.
NlEUWEID AND WEISE THURN WITH HOCHE'S MONUMENT ON THE
RHINE, LOOKING TOWARDS ANDERNACH.
Cooke's Exhibition, 1823, No. 34. Lent by J. Slegg, Esq.
NEWARK CHURCH. AN EARLY SPECIMEN OF THE ARTIST.
Cooke's Exhibition, 1823, No. 44. Lent by John Landseer, Esq.
i8o LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
HURSTMONCEUX CASTLE, SUSSEX.
Cooke's Exhibition, 1823, No. 99.
Engraved in "Views in Sussex."
NORBURRY PARK, SURREY. AN EARLY SPECIMEN OF THE ARTIST.
Cooke's Exhibition, 1823, No. 102. Lent by Dr. Munro.
This may possibly be the same drawing as that, No. 42, p. 36,
in the foregoing list, exhibited in the Academy in 1798.
SAINT AGATHA'S ABBEY, NEAR RICHMOND, YORKSHIRE.
Cooke's Exhibition, 1823, No. 152.
Engraved in Whitaker's " History of Richmondshire."
THE BRIDGE AND CASTLE OF ST. ANGELO.
Cooke's Exhibition, 1824, No. 20.
Engraved in Hakewill's " Picturesque Tour of Italy."
FISH MARKET AT HASTINGS.
Cooke's Exhibition, 1824, No. 21.
This drawing was presented by Turner to Sir Anthony Carlisle,
the famous physician. It measures 17^x26^, and was sold in
1858 for 110 5^. ; it subsequently passed into the collection of
Mr. Joseph Gillott, at the dispersion of which in 1872 it was sold
for ^1,155 5 s ' An entry of payment for the frame occurs in
Cooke's accounts. (Thornbury, p. 636.)
THE MEW STONE AT THE ENTRANCE OF PLYMOUTH SOUND.
Cooke's Exhibition, 1824, No. 32.
Engraved in the " Southern Coast."
THE RIALTO, VENICE.
Cooke's Exhibition, 1824, No. 40.
Engraved in Hakewill's " Picturesque Tour of Italy."
TWILIGHT, SMUGGLERS OFF FOLKESTONE FISHING UP SMUGGLED
Cooke's Exhibition, 1824, No. 41 ; Agnew's Exhibition, 1901 ;
Edward Nettlefold, Esq. [A.]
This is the "large drawing" referred to in the accounts.
(Thornbury, p. 635.)
THE OBSERVATORY IN ROSE-HILL PARK, THE SEAT OF JOHN
Cooke's Exhibition, 1824, No. 86.
Engraved in "Views in Sussex."
CATALOGUE OF EXHIBITED WORKS 181
MORNING AN EFFECT OF NATURE IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD OF
Cooke's Exhibition, 1824, No. 91.
This may perhaps be identified with the London , Autumnal
morning, exhibited in the Academy of 1801. No. 56, p. 41, in the
Cooke's Exhibition, 1824, No. 93.
Engraved in the " Southern Coast."
Cooke's Exhibition, 1824, No. 94.
Engraved in the " Southern Coast."
FOWEY HARBOUR, CORNWALL.
Cooke's Exhibition, 1824, No. 99.
Engraved in the " Southern Coast."
Cooke's Exhibition, 1824, No. 105. Lent by P. F. Robinson,
VIEW OF LA RICCIA, ITALY.
Cooke's Exhibition, 1824, No. 128.
Engraved in Hakewill's " Picturesque Tour of Italy."
LAKE OF NEMI.
Cooke's Exhibition, 1824, No. 153.
Engraved in Hakewill's " Picturesque Tour of Italy."
BRIGNALL CHURCH, YORKSHIRE.
Cooke's Exhibition, 1824, No. 155.
Engraved in Whitaker's " History of Richmondshire."
Moss DALE FALL, YORKSHIRE.
Cooke's Exhibition, 1824, No. 164.
Engraved in Whitaker's " History of Richmondshire."
1 82 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
DRAWINGS EXHIBITED IN OTHER
MARXBOURG ON THE RHINE.
Northern Academy of Arts, Newcastle, 1828, No. 71. Lent by
E. Swinburne, Esq., Senior.
This drawing is still in the possession of the Swinburne family ;
it was lent to O.M. 1887, No. 59.
PALACE OF BUBVINITCH NEAR MAYENCE.
Northern Academy of Arts, Newcastle, 1828, No. 74. Lent by
E. Swinburne, Esq., Senior.
The drawing of Biebrich is also still in the possession of the
Swinburne family; it was lent to O.M. 1887, No. 61.
ENTRANCE TO FOWEY HARBOUR.
Royal Birmingham Society of Artists, 1829, No. 356.
Engraved in " Picturesque Views in England and Wales."
Royal Birmingham Society of Artists, 1829, No. 377.
Engraved in " Picturesque Views in England and Wales."
Royal Birmingham Society of Artists, 1829, No. 388.
Engraved in " Picturesque Views in England and Wales."
Royal Birmingham Society of Artists, 1829, No. 412.
Engraved in the " Keepsake" for 1829.
Royal Birmingham Society of Artists, 1829, No. 424.
Probably the view taken from the banks of the Swale, engraved
in " Picturesque Views in England and Wales."
Royal Birmingham Society of Artists, 1830, No. 136.
Royal Birmingham Society of Artists, 1830, No. 300.
In all probability this was the drawing engraved for the " Keep-
sake " for 1828.
CATALOGUE OF EXHIBITED WORKS 183
Liverpool Academy, 1831, No. 222.
Engraved in Hakewill's " Picturesque Tour of Italy."
Liverpool Academy, 1831, No. 231.
Engraved in Hakewill's " Picturesque Tour of Italy."
Royal Birmingham Society of Artists, 1834, No. 9.
VIEW OF RYE.
Royal Birmingham Society of Artists, 1834, No. 248. Lent by
Charles Birch, Esq.
Possibly this was the drawing engraved for the " Southern
Royal Manchester Institution, 1834, No - S3-
Royal Birmingham Society of Artists, 1835, No. 17. Lent by
J. Allnutt, Esq.
Royal Manchester Institution, 1835, No. 260.
THREE DECKER TAKING IN STORES. Signed and dated, 1818.
Leeds Exhibition, 1839, No. 14.
Loss OF AN EAST INDIAMAN.
Leeds Exhibition, 1839, No. 15.
MAN OF WAR OFF THE TAGUS. Signed]. M. W. Turner, R.A.
Leeds Exhibition, 1839, No. 18.
OLD FARNLEY HALL.
Leeds Exhibition, 1839, No. 19.
LOCH FINE, ARGYLESHIRE.
Leeds Exhibition, 1839, No. 21.
THE STRID, BOLTON PARK.
Leeds Exhibition, 1839, No. 22.
FALL OF THE REICHENBACH, SWITZERLAND.
Leeds Exhibition, 1839, Nos. 23 and 29.
It is uncertain which of these two was the large drawing (No.
1 84 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
76, p. 51 ante) and which the smaller, now known as the " Upper
Falls of the Reichenbach" (O.M. 1886, No. 33).
WHARFEDALE FROM THE CHEVIN DEER PARK.
Leeds Exhibition, 1839, No. 26.
INTERIOR OF ST. PETER'S, ROME.
Leeds Exhibition, 1839, No. 27.
LAUSANNE, LAKE OF GENEVA.
Leeds Exhibition, 1839, No. 30.
Leeds Exhibition, 1839, No. 32.
VEVAY, LAKE OF GENEVA.
Leeds Exhibition, 1839, No. 33.
DRAWINGS OF THE SWORDS OF CROMWELL, FAIRFAX, AND LAM-
Leeds Exhibition, 1839, No. 40.
FALL OF STAUBBACH, LAUTERBRUNNEN. Signed and dated, 1809.
Leeds Exhibition, 1839, No. 51.
Leeds Exhibition, 1839, No. 52.
PASSAGE OF MONT CENIS.
Leeds Exhibition, 1839, No. 56.
VALLEY OF CHAMOUNI.
Leeds Exhibition, 1839, No. 57.
MER DE GLACE, CHAMOUNI.
Leeds Exhibition, 1839, No. 60.
Leeds Exhibition, 1839, No. 62.
MER DE GLACE, CHAMOUNI.
Leeds Exhibition, 1839, No. 65.
HIGH FORCE, TEES.
Leeds Exhibition, 1839, No. 66.
NAPLES AND MOUNT VESUVIUS.
Leeds Exhibition, 1839, No. 69.
COLISEUM, ROME. Signed and dated, 1820.
Leeds Exhibition, 1839, No. 70.
CATALOGUE OF EXHIBITED WORKS 185
Leeds Exhibition, 1839, No. 72.
See No. 104, p. 82 ante.
VENICE, THE RIALTO.
Leeds Exhibition, 1839, No. 73.
BOLTON ABBEY. Signed and dated (illegibly).
Leeds Exhibition, 1839, No. 76.
Leeds Exhibition, 1839, No. 77.
ERUPTION OF VESUVIUS.
Leeds Exhibition, 1839, No. 80.
VENICE FROM FUSINA.
Leeds Exhibition, 1839, No. 81.
BRIENTZ, MOONLIGHT. Signed}. M. W. Turner, R.A.
Leeds Exhibition, 1839, No. 85.
EAST COAST OF ENGLAND.
Leeds Exhibition, 1839, No. 86.
LOCH TINY, FARNLEY PARK.
Leeds Exhibition, 1839, No. 91.
FARNLEY HALL, FROM THE JUNCTION OF THE WHARFE AND THE
Leeds Exhibition, 1839, No. 92.
THE WASHBURNE, FARNLEY.
Leeds Exhibition, 1839, No. 93.
Liverpool Academy, 1845, No. 58.
Royal Birmingham Society of Artists, 1847, No. 129. Lent by
Joseph Gillott, Esq.
Measures 36 x 48. Collection of Mr. H. W. F. Bolckow ; was
sold in 1891 for ^7,455.
IN 1873, twenty-two years after Turner's death, the Court of
Chancery at last sanctioned the sale at Christie's of all the
prints and plates which were left by the artist. Among these
were nearly 5,000 impressions of the various plates of the " Liber
Studiorum." About 2,000 were in fine condition. The highest
price Turner had asked was 2 2s. for each part, but at the
great sale a single complete set of fourteen parts fetched ^892 .
The whole amount realized by the " Liber," under the hammer,
was close upon ;i 8,000.
F. C. Lewis, the best aquatint engraver of the day, had made
the first plate The Bridge and Goats afterwards issued as No.
43. This was the only subject engraved in this fashion, the rest
of the plates being a combination of etching and mezzotint. The
object was to imitate the effect of the drawings of Claud in the
" Liber Veritatis." These had been drawn with a reed pen, and
the shadows washed in with a brush. Turner's etchings were to
represent the reed pen. He must have had a great many of these
printed before the engravers put on the mezzotint, for at the sale
there were seven hundred of them sold.
There have been many attempts to reproduce the "Liber
Studiorum." Messrs. Day and Son, in 1854, published fifteen
selected plates in lithography. Lupton, who was one of the original
engravers and a friend of Turner's, re-etched and engraved on
steel another selection which was published by Colnaghi. Thirty-
six plates were announced, but only fifteen appeared, and the
project fell through in 1864.
The Autotype Company photographed and published the whole
series, but one can hardly expect to find the qualities of mezzo-
tint in such a medium. The Science and Art Department of
i88 LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
South Kensington wisely confined their photographs to the
original drawings which were made for the engravers.
The most successful of all the reproductions of the "Liber"
are those of Mr. Frank Short. In 1885-7 he etched and engraved
twelve of the published plates, and in 1897 sixteen more were
published by Mr. Dunthorne. Most of the subjects had never
been engraved before; others had been commenced by Turner
himself in a curious mixture of aquatint over mezzotint; these
spoiled plates had to be thrown aside. One or two had been
begun and then left incomplete. Now the fine rich qualities of
the medium can be seen in all its freshness and the engraver has
quite caught the spirit of the Liber. I think the very finest of all
is The Lost Sailor. The hopeless swimmer, battling with the huge
rollers thundering against the cruel upright cliffs, is quite Tur-
nerian in its grimness and horror.
Mr. Short's plates, which bring the number of subjects up to
one hundred, complete the "Liber Studiorum" as originally
planned by Turner.
Titles of Pictures are printed in italics.
A BECKETT, G., "Almanac
of the Month," 125.
Abergavenny Bridge, Mon-
Abingdon, 37, 48.
Academy : training, Ruskin on,
8-10 ; inefficiency of schools,
alleged, 9, 54 ; lecture by Sir
Joshua Reynolds, 10; Associ-
ate, election, 29; diploma
picture, alleged, 31; R.A.,
election as, 32; perspective
lectures, 45, no, in; hang-
ing pictures kindness to a
young artist, 49; Varnishing
Day, 134; Council meetings,
attendance of Turner, 141;
bequest, Turner's will, 147-
Academy Club, 'journey to
Acropolis of Athens, 72, 95.
Admiral Van Tromps Barge at
the Entrance of the Texel,
sEneas relating his Story to
" Ainsworth's Magazine," sar-
castic remarks on Turner,
Allen, Mr., engraver, 42.
Allison, sketches, 72.
"Almanac of the Month," skit
on Turner, 125.
Almshouse for decayed artists,
proposal to found, 143, 148,
Alps, the, first expedition to, 33.
Ambleside Mill, Westmoreland,
Ancient Italy Ovid banished
from Rome, 113, 115.
A ncientRome Agrippina land-
ing with the Ashes of Ger-
Angel standing in the Sun, 135.
Angerstein, J. J., collection of
Annual tour. See "Rivers of
Antique, study of, 9.
Apollo killing the Python, 49.
Approach to Venice, 130, 133.
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
Apuleia in search of Apuleius,
Archbishops Palace, Lambeth,
Architects' designs, touching up,
Army of the Medes destroyed in
the Desert, 31.
Arrival of a Packet Boat, 74.
Art, condition of England in
Aste Hall, 68.
" Athenaeum, The," Fighting
Athens, Acropolis of, 72, 95.
Avalanche, The, sketch for, 106.
Bacchus and Ariadne, 121.
Banks of the Loire, 79.
Bath Abbey, West Front, 24.
Battersea sunset, sketch, 13.
Battle of Fort Rock, 63.
Battle of Marengo, 82.
Battle of the Nile, 28.
Battle of Trafalgar, 42-45.
Battle of Trafalgar, asseenfrom
the mizzen . . ., 46.
Bavaria, King Ludwig of, palace,
Bay of Baice with Apollo and
the Sibyl, 68-70.
Beale, "Voyage," 134.
Beauchamp, Lady, portrait by
Beaumont, Sir G. : and Con-
stable's attempt at realism, 39 ;
gift to the National Gallery,
Beckford, building Fonthill
Abbey, etc., 29, 30.
Bedford, Duke of, sketches for,
by T. Girtin, 32.
Bell, Mr., introduction to Tur-
Ben Arthur, 65.
Ben Lomond Mountains, 33.
Bird, Artist, hanging of picture,
" Blackbirdy," nickname, 57.
" Blackwood," defence of Turner
by Ruskin, 101.
Blake, pupil of Turner, 23.
Bligh Sand, 61, 104.
Boats carry ing out Anchors and
Cables to Dutch Men-of- War,
Boccaccio relating the Tale of
the Bird-cage, 77.
Bohn, Mr., intending purchaser
of "England and Wales," in.
Bonnville, Savoy, 36, 55.
"Booth, Mr.," incognito, 140.
Booth, Mrs. C., 140, 143, 149.
Boulogne, visit to, 34.
Brasenose College, Interior, 37.
Brentford Butts, schooldays
Brewster, science of light, 134.
Bridge of Sighs, Ducal Palace,
and Custom House, Venice,
Brignols Church, 68.
Bristol, 6, 1 8.
British Museum : Pennant's
" London," illustrated copy,
7; collection of Girtin's and
Turner's sketches, 32.
Britton's " Architectural An-
tiquities," engravings for, 27.
Broad Stone of Honour, Ehren-
breitstein, and Tomb of Mar-
Brougham Castle ', 72.
Brunei, Shakespeare Cliff Tun-
Bur Island, expedition, 52.
Burial in St. Paul's, 24, 146.
Burnet quoted, 36.
Burning of the House of Lords
and Commons, October ibth,
Buttermere Lake, with a part of
Cromack Water, Cumberland
A Shower, 29.
Buxton, work in Rome, 78.
Byron, Lord : " Life and Works
of Lord Byron," sketches, 72,
95; quotations from, 91, 99,
120, 121, 133.
Cadell, bookseller, friendship
Caernarvon Castle, 29.
Calais Harbour Now for the
Painter . . .,75.
Calais Pier, 34, 35 engraving,
Calais Sands, low water, 81.
Calcott, his Missing the Painter,
75; death of, 132.
Caldwell, Mr., praise of Turner's
Caligula!s Palace and Bridge,
Cambridge Choir in King's
College Chapel, 23.
" Camera obscura," use of, 65.
Campagna, The, 82.
Campo Santo, Venice, 126.
Canaletti, copies of engravings
Canterbury, sketches, 13, 18.
Cape Colonna, 72.
Capri Sketches, 67.
Carew, sculptor, fishing expedi-
Caricature by Mr. Fawkes, 74.
Carlisle, expedition to, 66.
Carnarvon Castle, 30.
Castle of St. Angelo, 82.
Centaurs in Conflict with the
Chale Farm, Isle of Wight, 24.
Chamouni, expedition to, 105.
Chantrey, Sir F. : fishing expe-
ditions, 57 ; letter to, 77 ; pur-
chase of picture of Venice,
123; death, 124.
Chelsea home, 139, 143.
Christie's sales, buying back pic-
Classical influence, study of the
Claude: drawings, 14; compari-
son with Turner, 36, 40 ; etch-
ings of pictures, " Liber Veri-
tatis," 40 ; Queen of Sheba and
The Marriage of Isaac and
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
Rebecca, 62 ; National Gallery
Clifton, sketches, 6.
Clyde, Fall of, Lanarkshire, 33.
Coleman, Mr., school at Mar-
Collins, Wilkie, reminiscences
of Turner, 134.
Colour. See Painting.
Combe Martin, 72.
Combe, W., letterpress of
Cooke's "Southern Coast,"
Coniston Fells, Morning among,
Constable: realistic colour, 39;
praise of pictures, by Arch-
deacon Fisher, 56 ; Opening of
Waterloo Bridge, 90.
Cooke, artist, sketching tour, 1 1.
Cooke's "Southern Coast," 59,
65, 68, 72.
Corfe Castle, 59.
Corso, visit to, 77.
Cousins, engraver, 42.
Cowes East Cowes Castle, 77.
Cozens, 14, 16.
Crook of Lune, 68.
Crossing the Brook, 61, 68.
Crowle, Mr., illustrations for
Pennant's " London," 7.
Danby, Hannah, 142, 145, 147-
Dartmouth Castle, 72.
Davies, Scarlett, Turner's paint-
Dawn of Christianity, 1 23.
Dayes on Turner's industry,
Decline of the Carthaginian Em-
pire, 64, 71, 72.
De Loutherbourg, influence of,
13, 14, 15, 45; Lord How<?s
Victory, 15, 42, 44-
Deluge, The, 56.
Departure of the Fleet, 138.
Depositing of John Bellinfs three
Pictures , . . ., 123.
DeviVs Bridge, View near, 23.
Devonshire, sketching expedi-
tions, 52-55, 61.
Dido and jEneas, 60.
Dido building Carthage, 62, 71,
Dido directing the Equipment of
the Fleet, 76.
Dieppe, Harbour of, 72.
Dinner, invitation to Anecdote,
Dogana and Madonna della
Salute, Venice, 129.
Dogana, San Giorgio, Citella,
from the steps ofEuropa, 126.
Dolbadern Castle, 31.
Donnington Castle engraving,
Dort or Dordrecht, 64.
Drawings. See Sketches and
Ducal Palace, Dogano, with part
of San Giorgio, Venice, 123.
Ducal Palace, Venice, 94.
"Duke of Wellington and the
Shrimp." " Punch," 125.
Dunstanborough Castle, 27.
Duroveray, Mr., 2, 7.
Dutch Boats in a Gale . . .,31.
Dutch Masters, imitation of, 40.
Dynevor Castle, 24.
Eastlake, Sir C., on Turner's
Modern Rome, 106.
Eddy stone Lighthouse, 72.
Edinburgh, pictures of, 33, 37,
89 ; visit to, 66.
Eggleston Abbey, 68.
Egremont, Lord, friendship with,
47; pictures painted for, 48,
Ely Cathedral pictures, 24, 26.
Ely, Cottage at, 24.
"England and Wales," discon-
Engravings, colouring, 6; Tur-
ner's chief source of income,
37, 42, 92.
Entrance of the Meuse Orange
Merchantman on the Bar, 65.
Eruption of the Souffrur Moun-
Ewenny Priory, Transept of,
Ewing, work in Rome, 78.
Exeter College engraving, 39.
" Fallacies of Hope, The," quo-
tations from, 50, 63, 65, 70, 8 1,
85, 86, 95, 120, 122, 124, 127,
128, 129, 134, 138; composi-
tion of, 51; " Thunderous
Grandeur," 102; imitations of,
Fall of the Clyde, Lanarkshire,
Fall of the Rhine at Shauffhau-
Fall on the River Monach, Car-
digan, 1 8.
Farnley Hall, pictures at, '49,
73; visit to, 58; goose pies,
gift from, 73, 140.
Fawkes, Mr., friendship with,
48; " Overturner," nickname
of Turner, 49; collection of
water-colour drawings, 49 ;
death of, 72 ; purchase of Rhine
sketches, 73; caricature of
Turner by, 74 ; Simplon Pass
Expedition, 74; letter to, 140;
see also Farnley Hall.
Felucca, The, 82.
Festival upon the Opening of
the Vintage of Ma$on, 36.
Field of Waterloo, 64.
Fiery Furnace, 89.
Fiery Furnace, by Jones, 89.
Fifth (Seventh] Plague of Egypt,
Fighting Ttmtraire, 117-119.
FingaVs Cave, Staffa, 90.
Fish Market on the Sands . . ., 81.
Fisher, Archdeacon, praise of
Frosty Morning, 56.
Fishermen at Sea, 24.
Fishermen becalmed, previous to
a Storm Twilight, 28.
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
Fishermen coming Ashore at
Sunset previous to a Gale, 26.
Fishermen of Naples, 135.
Fishermen upon a Lee-Shore in
Squally Weather, 33.
Fishing Boats bringing a Dis-
abled Ship into Port Rysdael,
Flight into Egypt, 123.
Flounder Fishing, 49.
Fonthill Abbey, Wiltshire
sketches, 29, 30.
Fort Augustus, 89.
Forum Romanum, 74.
Foundling Hospital : Turner's
Fountain of Fallacy, 120.
Fountain of Indolence, 95.
Fountains Abbey, Dormitory and
Transepts of, 28.
Fountains Abbey: engravings,
France, first journey through,
Frosty Morning, 56, 57.
Funeral of Sir Thomas Law-
Gainsborough, Turner's admira-
tion for, 58.
Galileo, Villa of, 82.
Garden of the Hesperides, 35,
Garretier's Petition, 47.
Gate of St. Augustine's Mona-
stery, Canterbury, 18.
Geddes, Mr. : Academy picture,
Geneva, Lake of, 82.
Genoa, visit to, 77.
Gibson : sculpture, 78.
Gillott, Mr., visit to Queen Anne
Gilpin, S., painting cattle in A
Sunny Morning, 29.
Girtin, T. : friendship with Tur-
ner, 5, 26; portrait of, 7;
drawings for Dr. Munro, 14;
water-colours, 16, 26, 31; visit
to Paris, 32 ; illness and death
Giudecca la Donna della Salute
and San Giorgio, 123.
Glacier and. Source of the Ar-
Glaucus and Scylla, 123.
Goddess of Discord in the Gar-
den of Hesperides, 38.
Going to the Ball, 134.
Golden Bough, 95.
Goodall, Mr., on Turner's pic-
Goodall, Mr. (Senior), engraver,
Gott's Studio, 78.
Grand Canal, Venice, 96.
Great Fall of the Riechenbach,
Great St. Bernard, 82.
Green, Mr. : sale of Venus and
Greta and Tees, Junction of the,
Griffiths : Memorial re National
Gallery pictures, 71.
Hadley Church drawing, 14.
Hadley, lessons given at, 23.
HakewelFs, "Picturesque Italy,"
Hamburg, Schwabe collection,
Hamerton, G., quoted, 33, 102,
Hammersley, Mr., visits to Queen
Anne Street, 130-132.
Hammersmith, home at, 45.
Hand Court, London, home in,
Hannibal crossing the Alps, 50,
Harbour of Dieppe, 72.
Harding, Lord : National Gal-
lery pictures, 71.
Hardwick, Mr., office work for,
Hardy, Capt.: "Victory" at Tra-
Harlech Castle, from Twgwyn
Ferry Summer's Evening,
Harley Street, home in, 32,
Harraway, Mr., visits to, 6, 18;
portrait of his children, 7.
Hastings, Line Fishing off, 99.
Heath, engraver, 42.
Helvoetsluysthe " City of
Utrecht, 64," going to Sea,
Henderson, Mr., commissions to
Turner, u, 14; collection of
Turner's and Girtin's early
Hero of a Hundred Fights, 137.
Heysham and Camberland
High Force, 65.
High Tore, 68.
" History of Richmondshire,"
sketches and engravings for,
29, 65, 68.
Holland, visit to, 65.
Holy Family, The, 36.
Holy Island Cathedral, 28.
Honneur au Roi de Baviere, L\
Hornby Castle, 68.
Huggins, Battle of Trafalgar,
Number, Mouth of, 72.
Hurrah for the Whaler Erebus!
. . ., 134.
Imitators, inferiority of, 154.
Ingleborough, views, 65, 68.
Insanity, plea of contestors of
Interior of a church, 65.
Interior of Ely Minster, 24.
Isleworth drawings, 8.
"Italy," Rogers's, 82, 151; quo-
tations from, 133, 135.
Italy, visit to, 65, 77 ; pictures
and sketches, 66, 78, 113;
non-appreciation of Turner in,
79 ; see also Venice.
James's "Naval History," 43,
Jason, 33, 34, 46, 49.
Jedburgh, views by Girtin, 26;
expedition to, 66.
Johnson, Dr., Rogers and, 83.
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
Jones, G., Bay of Baiae, 70;
letter to, 77; Fiery Furnace ',
89; death of Chantrey, 124;
Wilkie's picture of funeral at
sea, 124 ; last visit of Turner
Juliet and her Nurse, 104.
Kauffman, Angelica, pictures,
Keelmen heaving in coals by
Kilgerran Castle on the Twyvey,
. . ., 29.
Kindheartedness, 49, 74, 109.
King John's Palace, Eltham, 18.
Kirkby Lonsdale, 65.
Kirkby Lonsdale Churchyard, 68.
Kirkstall Abbey, pictures, 27,
Kirkstall Loch, 72.
Kitchurn Castle, with Cruchan
Ben Mountains . . ., 33.
Knight, H. Gully, sketch of the
Temple of Jupiter Panhel-
Lake of Lucerne, from the Land-
ing-place of Fluelen, 64.
Lake of Geneva, 82.
Lambeth, drawings, 8.
Landilo Bridge, 24.
Landscape: composition of Ti-
Landscape, conventional and in-
ventive treatment, 33, 70;
realistic treatment, 34.
Land's End, engraving, 59.
Landseer, painting dogs in Great
St. Bernard, 82.
Lawrence, Sir Thomas, portraits
at the Academy, hanging next
to Turner, 74; Funeral of, pic-
Leicester, Sir J. F., 47.
Lenox, Mr., purchase of Staffa,
FingaVs Cave, 90.
Lewis, C. G., etching for " Liber
" Liber Studiorum," 27, 28, 41,
46, 47, 55, 65.
"Liber Veritatis," etchings of
Claude's pictures, 40.
Lifeboat and Manby Apparatus
going off to a stranded vessel,
Light and Colour, The Morn-
ing after the Deluge, Moses
writing the Book of Genesis,
Light, interest in science of, 1 34.
Light Towers of the Heve, 93.
Lincoln Cathedral, St. Hugh's
Line Fishing off Hastings, 99.
Linlithgow Palace, 79.
Linnel, portrait of Turner, 109.
LI andaff Cathedral, 24.
Loch Katrine, visit to, 88.
Loch Lomond, engraving, 37.
Loire, Banks of, 79.
London, appearance in Turner's
boyhood, 6; views of, 14, 23,
31, 47; Turner's homes, see
Chelsea, Hammersmith, Hand
Court, Harley Street, Maiden
Lane, and Queen Anne Street.
London, Autumnal Morning,
London from Greenwich, 47.
London from Temple Gardens,
London Orphan Fund : Turner's
Lonsdale, Earl of, 47.
Lord Howe's Victory, by De
Loretto Necklace, 79.
Lost Sailor, engraving, 41.
Lowther Castle, views, 47, 48.
Lucerne, Lake of, from the Land-
ing-place of Fluelen, 64.
Lucy, Countess of Carlisle, and
Dorothy Percys Visit to their
> Father . . ., 87.
Lulworth Castle, 68.
Lulworth Cove, 59.
Lupton, engraving of Calais
Maiden Lane, home in, i, 2;
Malmesbury Abbey (interior), 1 8.
Malta, 72, 95.
Malton, T., Turner's master, 7,
Malvern Abbey, porch of,\%.
Man leading Horses, A, 14.
Manufacturers as patrons, 98.
Marford Mill, Wrexham, 23.
Margate, school-days at, 5, 6,
12; sketching expeditions to,
Marrick Abbey, 68.
"Master in Chancery," incog-
Mayall, Mr., photography, Tur-
ner at his studio, 135, 136.
Mer de Glace, 36.
" Merchant of Venice," quota-
Mercury and Argus, 104.
Mercury and Herse, 49.
Mercury sent to admonish Aen-
Messieurs les Voyageurs on the
Return from Italy . . ., 79.
j Mickleham, Study of the Farm
House, Mr. LocKs Park, 28.
Millais, Fringe of the Moor, 35.
Miller, engraver, letter from
Turner to, 113-115.
Milton, quotations from, 26, 29.
Modern Italy, 113.
" Modern Painters," publication
of, 101, 103, 127.
Modern Rome, 106.
Modern Rome Campo Vaccino,
Moore, H., Newhaven Packet,
Moore Park, 72.
Morning among the Coniston
Mortlake, seat of William Mof-
fatt, Esq., 74, 76.
Mount Edgcumbe, expedition,
Mountain scenery, Turner's ren-
dering of, 25.
Mouth of the Humber, 72.
Mouth of the Seine, Quelle bosuf,
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
Munro, Dr., an early friend of
Turner, 8, 14, 15.
Munro (of Novar), collection of,
90,91, 104, 106, 108, 113, 137,
138; trip to Chamouni with
Murray, David, All adown a
Devon Valley, 61.
Naples, views, 67, 82.
National Gallery : Turner's pic-
62, 65, 81, 82, 90, 94, 107, 108,
122, 128, 129, 148, 151; draw-
. ings and sketches, 28, 66, 135 ;
arrangement of, by Ruskin,
28, 151-153; foundation of the
Gallery, 70 ; gift and purchase
of pictures, 70,71 ; Turner's be-
quests, will, 147-151 ; Claude's
Neapolitan Fisher - girls sur-
prised by Moonlight, 123.
Needles, Fishing-boats off, 13.
Nesbit, Mr., "Insanity of Ge-
New Moon, The, . . ., 122.
New York Pictures, 95, 99, 104.
Newark, expedition to, 66.
Newbury, engraving, 37.
Nice, visit to, 77.
Nicknames, 49, 57.
Norham, town and castle, views,
27, 72, 89.
Normandy, sketches of, 93.
Northcote, Academy picture,
Now for the Painter passen-
gers going on board, 75.
Nuneham Courtenay, 17.
Offer of marriage, letter, 58.
Opening of Waterloo Bridge, by
Orvieto, View of, 78.
" Overturner," nickname, anec-
Ovid, quotations from, 49, 107,
" Oxford Almanac," drawings
for, 28, 39, 46.
Oxford, views of, 6, 55; sketch-
ing expedition, n.
Packet Boat from Rotterdam
Paintings, Turner's : Tinted
manner, monochrome, 15,
1 6; colour in studies, 24;
mountain scenery, 25 ; defin-
iteness and simplicity of aim,
26; realistic treatment, 34;
livelihood, sale of engravings,
37 ; perfection, aim towards,
exactitude, 47; studies, 51,
52; rendering of trees, 52, 80,
85, 105; use of colour, 62;
inventive style, 70 ; apprecia-
tion of, by the public, 79, 102 ;
detail and finish, 88 ; blending
of effects, 89 ; points of view,
89; brilliancy of colour, 9 1 ; ex-
aggerations, 92; experiments
in colour, 93; Ruskin's defence
of, 101-103, 127; daring and
originality, 102; typical pic-
tures, 105 ; expression of
knowledge in words, 109-111 ;
impressionistic style, 1 13, 1 15 ;
anachronisms, 116; analysis
of paintings as a whole, 116;
anatomy, 1 16 ; proportion,! 16;
cause of admiration for, 117;
place of, among artists, 117 ;
criticisms, 125 ; time's ravages
on pictures, 129 ; finishing on
varnishing day, 134; experi-
ment and combination, 135;
versatility, 135; setting pa-
Iette,i45; genius, 146; methods
of work, 154.
Palace of Queen Joanna near
St. Elmo, 67.
Palestrina composition, 81.
Palice, Mr., drawing master, 5.
Pantheon, the morning after the
fire, The, 18.
Parting of Hero and Leander,
Passage of Mount St. Gothard,
Patter dale, 37.
Peace Burial at Sea, 1 24.
Peel, Sir R., National Gallery
Pembroke Castle, 31, 39.
Pennant's " London," illustrated
Personal appearance, 5, n, 48,
56, 109, 131, 134; caricature,
Perspective, lectures on, 109-
ni; lessons received, 7 ; pro-
fessor at the Academy, 45.
Peterborough Cathedral, West
Petworth, visit to, 47.
Photography, interest in, 135.
Phryne going to the Public Bath
as Venus, 112.
Pifferari, The, 113.
Pilate washing his Hands,
Pittsburg: Wreckers Coast of
Pluto carrying off Proserpine,
Plymouth, hospitality of, 53.
"Pocket Magazine": sketch of
the Tower of London, 23.
Poole engraving, 59.
Porden, work for, 7.
Portraits: Girtin, T., 7; Harra-
way children, 7 ; copy of por-
trait by Reynolds, 10.
Portraits, personal : fifteen years
of age, 7; seventeen years of
age, 10; Linnel's portrait,
Portraiture: condition of, in
1775, 2, 3; method of, 34.
Port Ruysdael, 76.
Poussin's Jonah Cast on Shore,
Prince of Orange, William III,
embarked from Holland . . .,
Prints, colouring, 7.
"Punch": parody of Turner,
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
Queen Anne Street, home, 55,
57, 97, 103, 130-132, 142, 145.
14 Queen Charlotte " engaging
the " Montagne," 42, 44.
R.A., election as, 32.
Raby Castle, 64.
Rain, Steam, and Speed . . ., 133.
Reculver sketch, 137.
Redding, C. : sketching expedi-
tions, 52-55, 61.
Reeve, Lovell: youth of Turner,
Refectory of Kirks tall Abbey,
Regatta Beating to Windward,
Regatta Starting for the New
Regulus, 1 06.
Rembrandt: The Condemnation
of Haman, 14.
Rembrandfs Daughter, 76.
Rennie: work in Rome, 78.
Returning from the Ball, 134.
Revelations, xix, 17, 18: quota-
Reynolds, Sir J.: copy of por-
trait by, 10; death of, 10; lec-
ture at the Academy, 10.
Rhine, Fall of, at Shauffhausen,
Rhine, the, sketches from, 73.
Rhodes, 72, 95.
Richmond Hill on Prince Re-
gent* s Birthday, 65.
Riechenbach, Great Fall of, 64.
Rippingille, Mr. : Rome's appre-
ciation of Turner, 79.
Rising Squall, The, 1 8.
Ritchie, Leitch: letterpress for
" Rivers of France," 92.
"Rivers of England," 72, 151.
" Rivers of France," 92, 95, 147,
Roberts, D., friendship with,
Rochester, 23, 72.
Rochester, Norman Keep, 13.
Rockets and Blue Lights . . .,
Rogers, S., friendship with, 82;
admiration' for Dr. Johnson,
83; treasures owned by, 83;
see also " Italy."
Rome, pictures and sketches of,
65, 67, 82, 104, 119, 120; visit
to, 77; appreciation in, 79.
Rotterdam Ferry Boat, 95.
Rouen Cathedral, 93.
Royal Academy. See Academy.
Ruskin, John : portrait of Tur-
ner belonging to, 7; defence
of Turner in " Blackwood,"
101 ; " Modern Painters," 101-
103, 127; relations with Tur-
ner, 127; Swiss trip, 140; ar-
rangement of the National
Gallery drawings, 151-153.
Ruskin, John, quoted, on Acad-
emy training, 9; on Turner's
painting, 23, 24, 25, 26; on
Calais Pier, 34; on The God-
dess of Discord in the Garden
of the Hesperides, 38; on The
Fighting Ttmtraire, 118: on
The Sun of Venice, 129; on
St. Benedetto, 130; on Tur-
ner's character, 144.
St. Agatha's Abbey, 68.
St. Anselm's Chapel, Canter-
bury, 1 8.
St. Benedetto looking towards
St. Donafs Castle, South Wales,
St. Erasmus in Westminster
St. Hughes denouncing Ven-
geance . . ., 36.
/. Martha Returning from
the Ball, 134.
St. Maues, 72.
St. Maurice, 82.
St. Michael's Mount, 59, 96.
Salisbury Town and Cathedral,
views, 24, 26, 29, 31.
Saltram, visit to, 54.
Salvator Rosa: imitation of, 33,
34; Wild Landscape, A, 14.
San Martino Going to the
Sandby, P., Turner's master, 3,
4, 7, 1 6.
Scarborough Town and Castle,
Scene A Street in Venice, 108.
Scene in Derbyshire, 76.
Scene with Banditti, 82.
Scotland: sketching expeditions,
Scott, Sir Walter: illustrations
to "Tales of a Grandfather,"
27; expeditions with Turner,
66; drawings for his Poems,
88; quotation from, 90.
Seine, Moiith of the, Quelle bceuf,
Shade and Darkness the Even-
ing of the Deluge, 129.
Shand, Dr., 2.
Sheepshank, J.: collection, 121.
Ships bearing up for Anchorage,
Shipwreck, The, 35, 37, 47.
Shrewsbury, The Welsh Bridge,
Simmer Lake, 68.
Simplon Pass, expedition, 74.
Sketches and drawings : early
attempts, 4, 5 ; method of
drawing in water-colour, 15,
1 6 ; sale of, anecdote, 31 ;
National Gallery Collection,
51, 151-153; use of "Camera
Obscura," 65 ; method, 106.
Skye, visit to Corriskin, 88.
Slavers throwing overboard the
Dead and Dying, 122.
Smallholm Craigs, expedition
Smith, John, water-colour paint-
Snowstorm Avalanche and In-
undation . . ., 1 08.
Snowstorm Steamboat off a
Harbour's Mouth . . ., 125,
Soame's Museum, picture for,
Somer Hill, 49.
South Kensington Museum, 84,
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
"Southern Coast," 59, 65, 68,
Spezzia, visit to, 77.
Spithead Boat's Crew recover-
ing an Anchor, 35, 47.
Sta/a, FingaVs Cave, 90.
Stan field: Throwing the Painter,
75; suggestion for The Fight-
ing Temtraire, 117.
Stangate Creek, 72.
Story of Apollo and Daphne,
Stothard: early recollections of
Turner, 4; admiration for, 77;
Great St. Bernard figures,
82 ; rivalling by Turner, 86.
Stubb : Phaeton and the Horses
of the Sun, 54.
Study in September of the Farm-
house, Mr. Loctfs Park, Mic-
kleham, Surrey, 28.
Sun of Venice going to Sea,
Sun rising through Vapour
Fishermen cleaning and sell-
ing Fish, 40, 148.
Sunny Morning, 29.
Sweakley, near Uxbridge, 18.
Switzerland, expedition to, 134.
Tabley, Cheshire, two pictures,
Tamar, the: sketching expedi-
tion, 54, 55-
TeWs Chapel, 82.
Temple of Jupiter Panhelleniits,
Temple of Minerva, 72, 95.
Teniers, comparison with, 40.
Tenth Plague of Egypt, 33.
Thackeray: "Ainsworth's Ma-
Thames, the, sketches of, 5, 6,
Thomson, James, quotations
from, 27, 28.
Thomson, Mr., of Duddingston,
visit to, 66.
Thornbury's "Life of Turner,"
quoted, 6, 7, n, 23,24,45,47,
64, 70, 71,90,96,97,103,118,
130-132, 137, 144, 147.
"Times": objituary, 147.
Tintern Abbey, 18, 23.
Titian's Bacchus and Ariadne,
Tivoli, Composition of: Land-
Tivoli Rums, 82.
Tivoli, sketches, 67, 113.
Tomb of Cecilia Metella, 72.
Torbay from Brixham, 68.
Tower of London, 23.
Townley, Mr.: Richmondshire
Traveller, The, 33.
Trees: conventional rendering,
52, 80, 85, 105.
Trimmer, Mr.: lessons with, 56;
letter to, 58; appearance of
Turner, 109; visit to Queen
Anne Street, 145 ; reminis-
cences of Turner, 146.
Trossachs, visit to, 88.
Turin, expedition to, 106.
Turner, C., mezzotints by, 41,
"Turner's Gallery": Will, 148,
Turner, Mary, mother of the
painter, i; insanity of, 31.
Turner, William, father of the
painter, I, 32, 83, 84, 146.
Twickenham, home at, 56.
Twilight on the Lorelei, 73.
Two-deckers taking in Stores,
Ulysses deriding Polyphemus,
Undine giving the Ring to Mas-
Unpaid Bill, 46.
Val d^Aosta, 151.
Val d'Aosta: sketching expedi-
Van Goyen looking out for a
Va n Tromp going about to please
his Master, 133.
Van Tromp retiirning after the
Battle of the Dogger Bank,
Van Tromfis Shallop at the
Entrance of the Scheldt, 90.
Vanderveld: admiration for, 4,
58; imitation of, 34; compari-
son with, 37, 40, 91.
Venice: pictures, 82, 94, 96, 99,
104, 106, 108, 121, 123, 126,
129, 133, 134; visit to, 106.
Venus and Adonis, 138.
Vernon Collection, 94.
" Victory" at Trafalgar, 42-45.
Villa Madonna, 82.
Villa of Galileo, 82.
Vimieux Fort, sketches of, 87.
Vision of Medea, 86.
Visit to the Tomb, 138.
Walker's " Copperplate Maga-
zine," sketches for, 23.
Wallis, engraver, 42.
Waltham Abbey, 24.
Wanstead Church sketch, 8.
War The Exile and the Rock-
Warkworth Castle, Northum-
Water-colour drawing, 15, 16.
Waterloo, Field of, 64.
Watteau painting a Study by
Fresnoy's rules, 87.
Weathercote Cave, 68.
Wells, Miss : start of " Liber
Whalers (boiling blubber) en-
tangled in flow ice, 135.
Whalley Bridge and Abbey,
What you will, 68.
Wheeler, Mrs.: bequest in Tur-
ner's will, 149.
Whitaker's "History of Rich-
mondshire," 29, 65, 68.
Wilkie, Sir D., comparison with,
40; comment on Lawrence's
funeral, 82; Burial of Wilkie,
Will, Turner's, 147-150.
LIFE OF J. M. W. TURNER
Wilson, neglect of, by public,
3; Richmondshire sketches,
29; Turner's admiration for,
Winchelsea, East Gate, 65.
Windsor Park, 49.
Winesdale, Yorkshire, 27.
Woman of Samaria, 65.
Wreck Buoy, 137.
Wreck of the "Minotaur" on
the Haak Sands, 48.
Wreckers Coast of Northum-
Wyatt: work in Rome, 78.
Wy cliff, 66.
Yarborough, Lord, pictures
painted for, 36, 48.
Yorkshire, visit to, 25.
CHISWICK PRESS : PRINTED BY CHARLES WHITTINGHAM AND CO,
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