• The Westminster and Claudine ashore at Margate, Kent (recto);Study of the Westminster or the Claudine (verso) -
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    Pencil and white chalk on blue paper

    13.9 by 19.2 cm., 5 ½ by 7 ½ in.

     

    Provenance:

    Sophia Booth (1798-1875), Margate;

    By descent to her son John Pound until 1865;

    Laurence W. Hodson, Compton Hall, near Wolverhampton by 1884;

    Thence by descent until 1978;

    Anonymous sale, Sotheby’s, 30th November 1978, lot 97, part of an album, bt. Feigen;

    Richard L. Feigen, New York until 2015

  • Kingsgate Castle, Broadstairs, Kent (recto); The Westminster and Claudine ashore at Margate, Kent (verso) -
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    Inscribed verso: Claudine and Westminster

    Pencil and white chalk on blue paper

    14.1 by 19.4 cm., 5 ½ by 7 ½ in.

     

    Provenance:

    Sophia Booth (1798-1875), Margate;

    By descent to her son John Pound until 1865;

    Laurence W. Hodson, Compton Hall, near Wolverhampton by 1884;

    Thence by descent until 1978;

    Anonymous sale, Sotheby’s, 30th November 1978, lot 97, part of an album, bt. Feigen;

    Richard L. Feigen, New York until 2015

  • The Ahr Valley: Altenahr and Burg Are with the Schwarzes Kreuz, Germany -
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  • The Bridge of Narni, Italy -
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    Watercolour over pencil

    15 by 22.1cm., 6 by 8? inches.

     

    Provenance:

    Captain J. Pilkington, 1873;

    M.R.C. Lomax, his sale, Sotheby?s, 18th March 1982, lot 150;

    Private Collection, U.K. until 2009

     

    This is a particularly good example of Turner?s early work, dating from circa 1794-95 when he was working for Dr Thomas Monro (1759-1833) at his drawing academy at 8 Adelphi Terrace, London. Monro commissioned young artists to copy works from his collection and consequently became one of the most important patrons of his day. His collection included many works by John Robert Cozens, who Monro treated during his mental illness in the 1790s, Wilson, Gainsborough and Canaletto. It is likely to be based on a work by Cozens when he was in Italy.

     

    Narni is an ancient Umbrian hilltown in the province of Terni in a strategic position overlooking the River Nera. It is famous for its large Roman bridge of which only half survives. In the distance the new bridge across the Nera is visible.

     

    This watercolour is sold with a letter of authentication from John Ruskin.

  • The Coast under Vietri, Salerno beyond -
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    Watercolour over pencil

    15.6 by 22.9 cm., 6 by 9 inches

     

    Provenance:

    With Anthony Reed Gallery, London, circa 1980;

    Private Collection, London, until sold at Sotheby?s, 21st March 2002, lot 160, bt. by the present owner

     

    This is an example of Turner?s early work, dating from circa 1794-95 when he was working for Dr Thomas Monro (1759-1833) at his drawing academy at 8 Adelphi Terrace, London.  Monro was one of the most important patrons of his day and commissioned young artists, including Turner and Girtin, to copy works from his collection. He treated John Robert Cozens for mental illness during the early 1790s and consequently was allowed access to the artist's sketchbooks.

     

    The present work is based on a drawing of this subject by Cozens in the Beckford Sketchbooks now in the Whitworth Art Gallery, University of Manchester (vol. III, no.12). Cozens visited Italy for the second time in 1782 with the collector William Beckford and his sketch of this subject is inscribed with the subject and dated 23rd September 1782.

  • View of a Castle in the Ahr Valley, possibly Burg Are, Switzerland -
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    With a further drawing of the same subject on grey prepared paper verso

    Inscribed lower left: Valley Aara

    Pencil

    17.8 by 22.8 cm., 7 by 9 in.

     

    Provenance:

    With Thos. Agnew & Sons;

    Private Collection

     

    This drawing shows Altenahr and Burg Are with the Schwarzes Kreuz on the right and the wooden bridge over the river Ahr in the centre foreground. The town of Altenahr is to the left  beneath the ruins of the 12th century castle of Burg Are. The river Ahr is a left tributary of the Rhine and flows through the towns of Schuld, Altenahr and Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler into the Rhine. Turner explored many of the Rhine’s tributaries particularly in the 1840s.

     

    This on-the-spot sketch is one of a group of drawings of views in the Ahr valley which must date from one of the Turner’s last major European tours in the early 1840s. Andrew Wilton has dated them to 1844 but Peter Bower has recently discovered that they originate from the same sketchbook as Turner’s group of Burg Eltz drawings (including nos.1333-35 in Andrew Wilton, Turner, 1979) which are traditionally dated to circa 1841-42. A number of the Ahr sketches are in the Turner Bequest (TB CCCXL1V 39r and v, 43r and v, 44v, 45r, 46r, 97r and v, 98r and v and 99-106).

     

    We are grateful to Cecilia Powell for her help in cataloguing this drawing.

  • Study of a Dead Pheasant -
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    Watercolour over pencil heightened with bodycolour 

    27.4 by 39.2 cm., 10 ¾ by 15 ¼ in. 

    Provenance: Probably Walter Fawkes (1769-1825) of Farnley Hall, Yorkshire, or his family; Probably John Ruskin (1819-1900), his sale, Christie’s, 15th April 1869, lot 10, bt. Vokins; Sir Donald Currie (1825-1909); By descent until 2019 

    Literature: Anne Lyles, Turner and Natural History – The Farnley Project, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, 1988, p.60, no.39, ill. Exhibited: London, Tate Gallery, Turner and Natural History – The Farnley Project, 10th October 1988 to 2nd January 1989, no.39 

    This is one of a group of watercolours of birds drawn by Turner between 1815 and 1825 for Walter Fawkes and his family. Walter Fawkes was one of Turner’s closest friends and most important patrons between 1803 and Fawkes’s death in 1825. Turner was a regular visitor to Fawkes’s house at Farnley Hall near Otley in West Yorkshire from 1808 and there was a room reserved there for his own use whenever he wanted it. Fawkes’s collection of Turners eventually numbered around 200 in all. Between 1816 and 1819, Turner produced almost forty finished watercolours of the house, grounds and neighbourhood, which are still at Farnley Hall. There are also a number of sketchbooks of drawings executed at Farnley and the surrounding area now in the Tate Gallery. Turner produced twenty drawings for Fawkes’s five volume Ornithological Collection which included details relating to over 250 species of birds, many accompanied by a watercolour illustration. Others are illustrated by engravings taken from other books or bird feathers. It was put together by members of the Fawkes family between 1815 and 1820. Turner’s drawings were removed from the albums on the advice of John Ruskin after Turner’s death in 1851 and remained at Farnley until they were sold to Leeds City Art Gallery in 1984. This present watercolour is part of a group of bird studies which were too large to have been included in the Ornithological Collection. It is thought they may have been drawn for other members of the Fawkes family or perhaps for Turner’s own use but it is likely they were drawn at Farnley. Ruskin certainly thought so: `Nowhere but at Farnley. He could only do them joyfully there!’ (quoted in E.M. Fawkes, `Mr Ruskin at Farnley’, The Nineteenth Century, 1900, vol. 47, p.622). Fawkes’s niece Amelia Hawksworth is known to have owned two game studies and three studies of bird’s heads by Turner. Anne Lyles suggests that this may be one of the two studies of dead pheasants by Turner in John Ruskin’s sale at Christie’s in 1869 as lots 10 and 11. We know that lot 11 is now in the Whitworth Art Gallery (Lyles, op. cit. no.40) and is described by Ruskin in the catalogue as `Dead Pheasant. Finished study. Superb.’ This is likely to be lot 10 described as `Dead Pheasant. Slight, but a beautiful example of Turner’s most rapid work in the middle period.’ John Ruskin is known to have owned at least five studies of dead game by Turner with others examples in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (Lyles, op. cit., no.38), Indianapolis Museum of Art (Lyles no.60) and one location unknown (Lyles no.65). Ruskin praised Turner’s natural history drawings as `ultimate refinements’ of colour, highlighting ‘the grey down of the birds and the subdued iridescences of the fish’ (see E. T. Cook and Alexander Wedderburn (eds.), Library Edition: The Works of John Ruskin: Volume XIII: Turner: The Harbours of England; Catalogues and Notes, London 1904, p.370. A study of a dead pheasant by Ruskin himself, clearly influenced by Turner, is in the Victoria and Albert Museum (D.394-1907).
  • Lago di Agnano seen from Astroni, Italy -
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    Watercolour over pencil

    17.7 by 23.2 cm., 7 by 9 inches

     

    Provenance:

    Anonymous sale, Sotheby?s, 18th July 1974, lot 132

     

    This is an example of Turner?s early work, dating from circa 1794-95 when he was working for Dr Thomas Monro (1759-1833) at his drawing academy at 8 Adelphi Terrace, London. Monro commissioned young artists to copy works from his collection and consequently became one of the most important patrons of his day.  His collection included many works by John Robert Cozens, who Monro treated during his mental illness in the 1790s, and he also had access to his sketchbooks.

     

    The present work is based on a drawing of this subject by Cozens in the Beckford Sketchbooks now in the Whitworth Art Gallery, University of Manchester (D.1975.7.29). Cozens visited Italy for the second time in 1782 with the collector William Beckford and his sketch is inscribed with the subject and dated 11th November 1782. Interestingly Cozens?s drawing is executed in grey wash and pencil whereas Turner?s version is more finished, in full watercolour, with more detail particularly with the addition of the boat and figure in the foreground. Both drawings are on almost identically sized sheets.

     

    Agnano is a volcanic crater to the north-west of Naples. In 1782 the crater was filled with water to make the Lago di Agnano but it was drained in 1870. Turner visited the area himself in 1819 and drew various views of Agnano ? his sketchbook is preserved in the Turner Bequest in the Tate (Italian Guide Book Sketchbook, Finberg CLXXII).

  • Wells Cathedral, Somerset -
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    Pencil

    22.1 by 25.9 cm., 8 ½ by 10 in..

     

    Provenance:

    With Colnaghi, where bought by Michael Ingram, 1951;

    Michael Ingram, his sale, Sotheby's, 8th December 2005, lot 149, where bought by the present owner


    This is a view of Wells Cathedral from the south across the moat of the Bishop’s Palace. The two towers in the centre are the remains of the hall of the Bishop’s Palace built in the late 13th century. This appears to be a missing sheet from Turner's `South Wales' sketchbook which he used in the summer of 1795. This was his third visit to Wales and his first comprehensive tour. He first used the sketchbook in Wells then continued to Bristol, Newport, Swansea, Neath and Cardiff. He went on to Pembrokeshire and returned via Brecon and Monmouth. There are two views of Wells still in the sketchbook, nos. TB XXIV 1 and 2.

  • A Boatbuilder's Yard, Dover -
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    Grey washes and pencil

    21 by 29 cm., 8 ¼ by 11 ¼ in.

     

    Provenance:

    Anonymous sale, Christie's, 9th June 2005, lot 32;

    Private Collection

     

    This sketch, dating from 1795-96, belongs to a group of views of shipping at Dover copied by Turner and Thomas Girtin from the work of the amateur artist and collector John Henderson probably commissioned by Dr Monro. Henderson was a neighbour on Adelphi Terrace, London, of Dr Thomas Monro who commissioned work from both Turner and Girtin in the early to mid1790s. On a number of drawings, they worked together with Girtin drawing in pencil and Turner adding the washes.

     

     Joseph Farington records in his diary (1st December 1795) that Henderson lent Monro `a Portfolio of outlines of Shipping and boats, made at Dover.’ Henderson’s sketches were probably drawn in the summer of 1794. A number of these Dover subjects appeared at Dr Monro’s sale at Christie’s on 26th June 1833 and were bought by Turner. They are now in the Turner Bequest in the Tate Gallery and are similar views of Dover (D36616-36624). Others are in the Courtauld Institute, National Gallery of Scotland and the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. Henderson’s collection which includes several of his `outlines’ passed to his son who bequeathed it to the British Museum

     

    We are grateful to Andrew Wilton for confirming the attribution.

  • The Church of San Giorgio on the river Adige, Verona -
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    Inscribed on part of former backboard: Verona/J.M.W. Turner

    Watercolour over pencil

    16.5 by 22.6 cm., 6? by 8? inches

     

    Provenance:

    Leicester Galleries, London;

    Private collection, UK;

    Anonymous sale, Christie?s, 9th July 1996, lot 39;

    Private collection, Suffolk

     

    This is a view taken from Castel San Pietro which stands on a hill above Verona looking down on the church of San Giorgio in Braida. The church is situated on a bend in the river Adige which continues westwards in the distance. Turner has exaggerated the size of the hill behind and its proximity to the church.

     

    This watercolour is an example of Turner?s early work, dating from circa 1794-95 when he was working for Dr Thomas Monro (1759-1833) at his drawing academy at 8 Adelphi Terrace, London. Monro commissioned young artists to copy works from his collection and consequently became one of the most important patrons of his day. His collection included many works by John Robert Cozens, who Monro treated during his mental illness in the 1790s, and he also had access to his sketchbooks.

     

    The present work is based on a drawing of this subject by Cozens.  Cozens visited Verona on his way to Venice in June 1782 during his trip to Italy in the company of William Beckford. A drawing ?From the top of the Arena at Verona? dated 10th June is in the Beckford sketchbooks now in the Whitworth Art Gallery, University of Manchester.

  • Bergamo -
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    Inscribed on reverse of original mount watermarked 1795: Bergamo

    Watercolour over traces of pencil on Whatman paper  

    17 by 22.7 cm., 6 1/2 by 8 3/4 inches

     

    Provenance:

    Probably Dr Thomas Monro, his sale, Christie’s, 2nd July 1833, lot 131, bt. Moon Boys & Graves for 5 gns;

    Anonymous sale, Christie’s, 23rd April 1844, lot 78, bt. Murray;

    John Murray III (1808-1892);

    By descent to the present owner

     

    This is an example of Turner’s early work, dating from circa 1794-95 when he was working for Dr Thomas Monro (1759-1833) at his drawing academy at 8 Adelphi Terrace, London. Monro commissioned young artists to copy works from his collection and was one of the most important patrons of his day. His collection included many works by John Robert Cozens, who Monro treated during his mental illness in the 1790s, and he had access to his sketchbooks.

     

    Bought by John Murray III at Christie’s in 1844, it has remained in the present collection ever since. It was probably the drawing entitled `Bergamo’ in Dr Monro’s sale at Christie’s in 1833. The view is from the village of Gorle, an old medieval town on the outskirts of Bergamo.   Turner has included the edge of what was once a fortified tower, commonly known as a borghetto.  Situated on the west bank of the River Serio, the remains were destroyed in a fire.  Gorle had many fine buildings, including the summer home of the Bishops of Bergamo, however the villa pictured in the background here is no longer standing.  The mountains still dominate the view, including the unusually shaped pyramidal Monte Nese, in the low Alps bordering the town.

    Educated at Charterhouse, John Murray III joined the family publishing house, which had been founded by his grandfather, in 1828, based, as it still is, at 50 Albemarle St, Mayfair. In 1836, he launched a series of travel guides of European countries and in 1843 took over the running of the family firm on the death of his father. He ran the firm until his death in 1892 publishing many notable authors including David Livingstone and Charles Darwin.  Murray's relationship with Turner is documented by letters in the John Murray Archive now in the National Library of Scotland.

  • A Limekiln at Briton Ferry, South Wales - Moonlight -
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    Signed lower right

    Watercolour over traces of pencil

    19.5 by 27.3 cm., 7 1/2 by 10 3/4 inches

     

    Provenance:

    Anonymous sale, Christie’s, 23rd April 1844, lot 81, bt. Murray;

    John Murray III (1808-1892);

    By descent to the present owner

     

    This recently rediscovered watercolour by Turner was bought at auction in 1844 and has been in the John Murray collection ever since. Turner visited the area on his tour of South Wales in the summer of 1795 and this studio work is likely to date from later the same year. It was drawn from what was once a small promontory on the western bank of the River Neath looking towards Briton Ferry with the moon rising above the slopes of the Briton Ferry Wood above the village, looking beyond towards the larger hill of Mynydd-y-Gaer in the distance. The area is now much changed with the M4 and A48 bridges now dominating the landscape. A pencil sketchbook of the limekiln is in Turner’s South Wales sketchbook in the Turner Bequest, Tate Gallery (TBXXVI, D00566) as well as other views of Briton Ferry and the area.

     

    Turner appears to be painting a corona or aureole around the Moon which is quite often seen when the Moon is hidden, partially or fully, by cloud. The water droplets in the clouds cause diffraction effects and sometimes coloured rings of light.

     

    We are grateful to Eric Shanes and Mike Frost of the British Astronomical Association for their comments on the watercolour.

     

    Educated at Charterhouse, John Murray III joined the family publishing house, which had been founded by his grandfather, in 1828, based, as it still is, at 50 Albemarle St, Mayfair. In 1836, he launched a series of travel guides of European countries and in 1843 took over the running of the family firm on the death of his father. He ran the firm until his death in 1892 publishing many notable authors including David Livingstone and Charles Darwin.  Murray's relationship with the artist is documented by letters in the John Murray Archive now in the National Library of Scotland.

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