Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Turner finished my sketchbook

(After) Self-Portrait c1799 by JMW Turner (1775-1851)
Not literally you understand.  However, having got my sketchbook back I gave it "a treat" and sketched Turner's self-portrait which is on display in the Romantics Exhibition at Tate Britain.

This was a very fast sketch in pen and ink as I can't stand for too long in one place.

Then I discovered that was the last page in the sketchbook.  Now how odd is that?

The caption for the self-portrait online is rather interesting
This self-portrait appears to date from around 1799 when Turner was about twenty-four years old. It was possibly intended to mark an important moment in his career, his election as an Associate of the Royal Academy. Despite his relative youth, Turner had already made a name for himself as an original, accomplished painter with the technical abilities of someone more mature. He had been described in the newspapers as an artist who ‘seems thoroughly to understand the mode of adjusting and applying his various materials’ and ‘their effect in oil or on paper is equally sublime’
Age 24 !!!

Links: Lost and found - one sketchbook


  1. How appropriate! So glad you got the sketchbook back. I saw this self portrait at the big Turner show which traveled here a few years ago and happily came to Dallas Museum of Art. Next to it was one of the first large oils Turner did for submission to the Royal Academy (a storm at sea). Although I don't think it was fair or right that it took his contemporary Constable until his 50s to be elected, Turner certainly deserved it even at that tender age!

  2. I would say that that was a very appropriate!
    Lovely sketch! I need to challenge myself with a pen and hope that I get a result like this!

  3. Best blog title this year. :) Made me laugh out loud! And 24, that makes me sigh.

  4. a wonderful sketch and a fitting end to your lost-then-found sketchbook :)

  5. Lovely Katherine. Your shading with the pen is so delicate. I still remember our day at the Hockney on Turner exhibit when I fell in love with Turner watercolors.


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