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Joseph Mallord William Turner, RA Going to the Ball (San Martino) Returning from the Ball (St. Martha)

l a association with

Spink-Leger


Contents Introduction

5

Joseph Mallord William Turner, RA Unframed: Going to the Ball (San Martina)

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Unframed: Returning from the Ball (St. Martha)

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Provenance

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Literature

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Exhibited

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Joseph Mallord William Turner, RA Framed: Going to the Ball (San Martino)

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Framed: Returning from the Ball (St. Martha)

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Joseph Mallord William Turner An Essay by Martin Butlin

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Turner and his Market

27

Turner's Vision

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The Previous Owners

33

Condition Report

36

Exhibited & Unexhibited Works

38

Addresses

40


Introduction Mallett, in association with Spink-Leger are very proud to be able to offer a pair of great oil paintings byJMVV Turner, exhibited by the artist in 1846 when at the height of his powers. Not only are they an extremely rare example of T u r n e r producing a planned pair of pictures a n d indeed the only pair of such subjects not now in public collections, but they also represent two of only four important Venetian paintings by the artist still in private ownership. These paintings are Venetian masterpieces of a joyous and romantic kind, entitled Going to the Ball (San Martina) and Returningjrom the Ball (St. Martha). T h e y represent a high point in painting generally, and that m o m e n t when Turner, perhaps the greatest British artist, achieved works of brilliance and narrative allure that represent the summit of his achievement, bridging the eighteenth century and m o d e r n art. In addition they anticipate the works of the Impressionists as well as foreshadowing m o d e r n art. It is truly extraordinary that T u r n e r achieved this as early as the 1840s. T h e pictures are both exciting in terms of art history and as superb examples of the artist's greatest works. Spink-Leger have a part ownership with Mallett of these paintings. J a m e s Harvey of Mallett Gallery has co-ordinated the research assembled here with Lowell Libson, M a n a g i n g Director of Spink-Leger, a n d with considerable help from Andrew Wilton of the Tate Gallery and Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, authors of the Catalogue Raisonne of Turner's oil paintings. All of these have provided much support and expertise. Lanto Synge Chief Executive Mallett PLC


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Joseph Mallord William Turner, RA 1775-1851

Going to the Ball (San Martino) Oil on canvas Unframcd: 24 x 36 in / 61 x 91.4 cm

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Joseph Mallord William Turner, RA 1775-1851

Returning from the Ball (St. Martha) Oil on cam as Unframed: 24 x 36 in / 61 x 91.4 cm


Provenance Benjamin Godfrey Windus, probably acquired through Thomas Griffith, Turner's agent; Windus sale, Christie's June 20th 1853, lot 1 Going to the Ball (San Martino) (520 guineas to Ernest Gambart, trading as Gambart & Junin, T h e French Gallery, Pall Mall), thence to Henry Wallis, lot 2 Returningfrom the Ball (St. Martha) (610 guineas to Henry Willis); Henry Wallis; Joseph Gillott, Birmingham (acquired both from Willis on March 23rd 1854 with two pictures by Callcott); Gillott sale, Christie's April 20th 1872, lot 159 and lot 160 (1,700 and 1,500 guineas to the Earl of Bective); Thomas Taylour, Earl of Bective, MP; Bective sale, Christie's May 4th 1878, lot 62 and 63 (both unsold); James Price, Paignton by 1887; Price sale, Christie's June 15th 1895, lot 62 and 63 (2,800 guineas to Agnew) Thos Agnew & Sons Ltd, London; Sir Donald Currie, KCMG, MP, acquired from the above; Major FD Mirrielees, grandson of the above, by direct descent, to 1937; M Knoedler & Co Inc, New York, acquired from the above through Agnew, 1937; Sir Harry Oakes, 1st Bt, Nassau, Bahamas, (d.l943); Lady (Eunice) Oakes, widow of the above; Oakes sale, Christie's New York, May 19th 1982 (withdrawn by the family); Oakes sale, Christie's New York, 1984 (sold by private treaty); Private collections, USA, 1984 to 2000


Literature J Burnet and P Cunningham, Turner and his Works, London, 1852, p 120, nos 239 and 240 W Thornbury, The Life of JMIV Turner m, London, 1862, vol 1, p 349; 1877, pp 467 and 581 C F Bell, A List of the Works contributed to Public Exhibitions by JMW London, 1901, pp 154 and 155, nos 255 and 256

Turner Hi,

Sir Walter Armstrong, Twrn^r, London, 1902, pp 147 and 235 AJ Fineberg, In Venice with Turner, London, 1930, pp 151 and 158 Commemorative Catalogue of the Exhibition of British Art, the Royal Academy of Arts 1934, Oxford University Press 1935, p 100, nos 376 and 377 AJ Fineberg, The Life of JMW Turner, Hi, London, 1961, pp 413 and 509, nos 573 and 574 Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of JMW Turner, New Haven and London, 1977, pp 240-242, nos 421 and 422, pi 402 and 403 A Wilton, The Lfe and Work of JMW Turner, London, 1979, nos P421 and P422, p 289 (illustrated)


Exhibitec London, Royal Academy, 1846, nos 59 and 74 Manchester, Fine Art Galleries, Royal Jubilee Exhibition, 1887, nos 614 and 620 (lent by Price) London, Corporation of London Art Gallery, Guildhall, Loan Collection of Pictures, 1897, nos 63 and 67 (lent by Sir Donald Currie) Copenhagen, Det Kongelige Academi For De Skonne Kunster, Udstilling of Aeldre Engelisk Kunst INy Carlsberg Glyptotek, 1908, no 42 and 43 London, Thos Agnew & Sons Ltd, 1922, nos 9 and 11 London, Royal Academy, Exhibition of British Art, 1934, nos 673 and 677 (lent by Mirrielees) New York, M Knoedler & C o Inc, Allied Art for Allied Aid, ]un(t 1940, nos 11 and 12 New York, M Knoedler &Co Inc, English Paintings to honour Queen Elizabeth II, M a y 1953, nos 15 and 16

Right: A detail f r o m doing to the Ball (San Martinu)

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Going to the Ball (San Martina) Oil on canvas Unframed: 24 x 36 in / 61 x 91.4 cm Framed: 34 x 46 in / 86.5 x 117 cm

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Returningfrom the Ball (St. Martha) Oil on canvas Unframed: 24 x 36 in / 61 x 91.4 cm Framed: 34 x 46 in / 86.5 x 117 cm

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Going to the Ball (San Martino)

Returningfrom the Ball (St. Martha) Oil on canvas Unframed: 24 x 36 in / 61 x 91.4 cm Framed: 34 x 46 in / 86.5 x 117 cm

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Joseph Mallord William Turner Going to the Ball (San Martino) Returning from the Ball (St. Martha) An Essay by Martin Butlin

These two paintings arc the last in the splendid succession of Venetian subjects begun by Turner, in watercolour, even before his first visit to Venice in 1819. T h e r e were two views of Venice a m o n g watercolours painted for J a m e s Hakewill's Picturesque Tour of Italy, done after HakewUl's own drawings in 1818, and it was perhaps this commission, coupled with the influence of Byron, the fourth canto of whose Childe Harold's Pilgrimage was published the same year, that persuaded the artist to break his j o u r n e y to R o m e in the following year with five days in Venice. As well as a large n u m b e r of pencil sketches, T u r n e r painted four miraculous colour studies, but, apart f r o m a few f u r t h e r finished watercolours, the only product of this visit in oils was the vast but unfinished view of The Rialto, Venice, of about 1820, begun as a companion to Turner's two exhibited tributes to European cities of the same size, (about 78 x 132 in): England: Richmond Hill, on the Prince Regent's Birthday, (fig 1) exhibited in 1819, a n d Rome, from the Vatican. Raffaelle, accompanied by La Fornarina, preparing his Pictures for the Decoration of the Loggia, exhibited the following year. Large p a n o r a m i c oil paintings such as these, far removed in scale from Turner's later depictions of Venice, mark the culmination of Turner's transformation of his early landscape style under the influence of Claude.

Figure 1

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JOSEPH MALLORD WILLIAM T U R N E R

Figure 2

Turner's next visit to Venice was in 1834 but this h a d been anticipated by two Venetian subjects exhibited at the Royal Academy the year before. These exhibits, which probably p r o m p t e d Turner's renewed interest in visiting Venice, were deliberate responses to the artistic challenge of two more or less contemporary artists, Bonington and Clarkson Stanfield, but were also a tribute to the great artist of Venetian view-paindng, Canaletto, as was b o r n e witness by the tide of Bridge of Sighs, Ducal Palace and Custom-House, Venice: Canaletti painting (fig 2). A pigmy besides the giant Rialto, this measured 20716 x 32716 in. T h e other picture, now lost, was even smaller, probably 11'A x 9'/2 in. Turner's interest in Venice was now more purely topographical, enhanced by his claim to take his place in the succession from Canaletto. This was followed by a n u m b e r of exhibits of Venetian subjects in Turner's standard 3 x 4 ft format, again combining the appeal of topography with aspiradons to high art. Venice, exhibited in 1834, was painted for H e n r y McConnel, who the next year commissioned as a companion the painting Keelmen heaving in Coals by Night, in this pairing T u r n e r compared the old decaying empire of Venice with the new economic empire of Great Britain. A further \ e n e t i a n subject exhibited in 1835 was more purely topographical but the following year saw the exceptional Juliet and her Nurse (fig 3) in which T u r n e r transferred the scene of Shakespeare's d r a m a from Verona to a Venice of high

21


J O S E P H MALLORD WILLIAM T U R N E R

Figure 3

romance, enhanced by the effect of fireworks against a night sky. Shakespeare was again the inspiration behind The Grand Canal, Venice of 1837, two hnes from The Merchant of Venice being quoted in the Royal Academy catalogue; in addition Turner enlarged the scale of his canvas to SS'A x 43'/2 in. After this there was a gap in Turner's Venetian exhibits until 1840 when (again just before Turner revisited the city) he initiated his final series of Venetian oil paintings with Venice, the Bridge of Sighs and Venice from the Canale della Guidecca, Chiesa di S. Maria della Salute, &c. The catalogue entry for the first of these quoted Byron's Childe Harold's Pilgrimage and this sets the mood for the whole series of late Venetian oils and places them firmly in the mainstream of Romanticism. Turner here abandons his aspirations to high art and uses a new, small format (with one exception. Depositing of John Bellini's Three Pictures in La Chiesa Redentore, Venice of 1841), for the series, 2 x 3 ft; as Turner wrote to a patron in 1843, 'Venice size being best 2 feet 3 feet'. In the following years Turner continued to exhibit Venetian pictures, Uvo in 1841 and 1842 and three in 1843 and 1844. It was not however until 1845 that he seems to have regarded 22


J O S E P H MALLORD WILLIAM T U R N E R

his Venetian pictures, four in this year, as a group in some way unified by subject. They covered the four times of day, evening, morning, noon and sunset, but it is clear from the catalogue numbers that they were actually hung as two pairs fairly far apart, probably in separate rooms. T h e first pair, hung as companions, were further unified by a kind of story line, being entitled Venice, Evening, going to the Ball and Morning, returning from the Ball, St. Martino (figs 4 and 5). It was this pairing that seems to have set the pattern for our two pictures of 1846 and indeed, if one can disentangle the highly complex early histories of the four paintings, seems to have led directly to their being painted as either companions to, or replacements for, the two 1845 paintings which were done for William Wethered J n r of Kings Lynn and Francis McCracken of Belfast but which were returned to the artist and now form part of the Turner Bequest. Turner seems to have had no more luck initially with his 1846 pictures, apparently first painted for the same tvvo patrons. T h a t for Wethered was back in Turner's hands by October 23rd 1846 and both were shortly after that bought by one of Turner's more constant patrons, BG Windus of Tottenham. In the Venetian pictures of the 1840s Turner gradually withdrew his attention from the specific landmarks such as the Bridge of Sighs, T h e Doge's Palace, the Dogana, San Giorgio and the Salute; even when such motifs can be detected

Figure 4

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J O S E P H MALLORD WILLIAM T U R N E R

Figure 5

they are placed further back in the picture and broken up by Turner's ever more freely handled brushwork. In the 1846 Going to the Ball one can identify the general viewpoint, looking across the Lagoon from a point beyond the Public Garden; in the remote distance the city of Venice, with the Doge's Palace and the Campanile of St. Mark's are clearly to be seen a little to the right of the middle of the picture. The litde known church of St. Martino (which houses the body of Doge Francesco Erizzo, less his heart, which was buried in St. Mark's) lies a little way back from the waterfront, a bit further to the right of St. Mark's. St. Martino also appears in the title of the 1845 Returning from the 5a//picture, where it is even more difficult to place; perhaps indeed it is a different St. Martino, that on the island of Burano, that Turner is alluding to. The viewpoint of the 1846 Returning from the Ball is even more difficult to establish. It is clearly a view across the Lagoon, apparently with an island on which stands a large very distinctively shaped church with two campanile, though it is impossible to identify this building; in the distance on the right, one seems to see the distant snow-covered Alps. Although no church of St. Martha is known, as included in the title of the other picture, there was an annual fiesta of that name connected with sole fishing, a subject that would have interested Turner. 24


J O S E P H MALLORD WILLIAM T U R N E R

In both 1845 a n d 1846 the Going to a n d Coming from the Ball pictures received relatively good reviews for Turners of this date, though in 1845 Punch accompanied its review with two muzzy drawings entitled Venice by Gaslight — Going to the Ball a n d Venice by Daylight - Returning from the Ball. T h e review in the Spectator for M a y 9th 1846 gives a clue as to the original appearance of the works: ' O n e of a pair of Venetian scenes, where an expanse of sky a n d water is flooded with golden atmosphere called Going to the Ball, is a blaze of sunshine that dazzles the sight; the p e n d a n t picture, Returningfrom the Ball, serving as a foil to the beaming brilliancy of its companion'. T h e Art Union for J u n e 1846 wrote of the latter picture: ' T h e r e is here less of the utter absence of definition, which has of late years distinguished these Venetian works'. Turner's difficulties over the 1845 a n d 1846 commissions, rather than the actual merits of the pictures, seem to have been followed by further confusion. After passing through a n u m b e r of other hands the pictures entered the collection of the Oakes family in 1937, only for the family to fall victim to a notorious murder in the West Indies. W h e n offered for sale in 1982 a family disagreement led to their being withdrawn a n d in 1984 they were eventually sold by private treaty. W h a t also counted against the two pictures was their apparent condition but this, although formerly criticised, is far better than one would expect a n d reveals far more of the paintings' original appearance than was allowed. Until the 1980s the pictures h a d become more and more discoloured a n d obscured by dirty varnish but one feels that the misfortunes of their owner's recent family history played as much a part in their condemnation as in a thorough scrutiny of their appearance. Cleaned in the early 1980s, the pictures have been revealed in much of their original brilliance, although this is not reflected in the appalling reproductions to be found in the standard catalogue of Turner's paintings by Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll. Those in the 1982 and 1984 Christie's catalogues give a better idea but even they fail to reveal the cool brilliance of the two pictures and the fact that one can actually see the setting sun in Going to the Ball and the rising sun higher in the sky in Returningfrom the Ball. What the viewer does still notice is the result of a fault in the artist's own use of paint, the use of megilp in some of the clouds and details of the buildings. This medium was used to facilitate the painting of a raised impasto which retained its three-dimensional form without slumping; it could also be used for thick glazes, l b begin with, the substance retained its original glossiness and gave depth and beauty to Turner's light-toned modelling and atmospheric touches,

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J O S E P H MALLORD WILLIAM T U R N E R

creating subtleties of texture that were impossible when using more orthodox oil paint. Turner did not realise that the make-up of megilp, which combined mastic spirit varnish (using natural resin) with linseed drying oil which had been previously cooked with a lead compound, led to a darkening over the years. This, alas, is irreversible but, once allowed for, does not detract from the general effect of the paintings. They are much as they always have been, with a masterful feeling of recession and a subtlety of light and atmosphere that typifies Turner's late, almost dream-like approach to Venice. Of Turner's twenty-five exhibited Venetian subjects and the nine that remained unfinished in his Bequest, twenty-eight are now in public collections and one is lost, leaving only four examples, including these, not in public ownership (the other two are Juliet and her Nurse and Depositing of John Bellini's Three Pictures which are in private collections). In addition, these are one of the only two pairs of deliberate companion Venetian subjects marking, even at the end of his long series of treatment of that city, yet another development in Turner's approach.

ESSENTIAL BIBLIOGRAPHY C F Bell, A List of the Works contributed to Public Exhibitions by JMW Turner, 1901, pp 154-5, nos 256 and 255 Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of JMW Turner, 2nd edn 1984, pp 265-7, nos 421 and 422

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Turner and his market J M W T u r n e r was u n d o u b t e d l y the most successful a n d commercially p r u d e n t artist of his generation a n d in the course of an i n d e p e n d e n t professional career s p a n n i n g almost sixty years p r o d u c e d a large b o d y of work. T h e catalogue of his pictures records a p p r o a c h i n g 550 oil paintings a n d oil studies a n d some 1,700 finished watercolours. Whilst T u r n e r i n t e n d e d his finished watercolours to be sold t h r o u g h dealers a n d print publishers or on occasion to specific patrons, the majority of his oeuvre in oil was conceived as a g r a n d statement on art - a n d specifically T u r n e r ' s art to be exhibited either at the Royal A c a d e m y or in T u r n e r ' s o w n gallery attached to his studio. Turner, f r o m fairly early on, retained m o r e paintings t h a n he sold a n d was, f u r t h e r m o r e , in the habit t h r o u g h o u t his career, especially in his later years, of reacquiring significant paintings w h e n they b e c a m e available. T h e consequence of this is that w h e n T u r n e r b e q u e a t h e d all his works in his estate to the nation, a large p a r t of his oeuvre in oil, n u m b e r i n g over 300 works, f o r m e d p a r t of the T u r n e r Bequest, n o w housed at the T a t e Gallery. In addition over 150 f u r t h e r paintings are held by m u s e u m s a n d public institutions t h r o u g h o u t the world, (see table of exhibited a n d unexhibited paintings, p p 38-39). T h e r e have b e e n few m a j o r oils by T u r n e r o n the m a r k e t over the last twentyfive years a n d certainly n o o t h e r p a i r of late paintings has c h a n g e d h a n d s since the war.

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Turner's Vision Going to the Ball (San Martino) and Returning from the Ball (St. Martha) lie at an interesting a n d significant point in Turner's oeuvre a n d illustrate varying aspects of his great Venetian oils a n d how he incorporated his vision with reference to his well established watercolour technique. In terms of subject matter, Venice was one of his central themes a n d this pair of paintings plays a significant part in the succession of series paintings, including studies and finished works, such as the pairs considered here. It will be r e m e m b e r e d that T u r n e r was consistently involved in producing sets of subject paintings, drawings a n d illustrations both for books a n d as exercises in the development of ideas a n d techniques. These later Venice theme pictures may also be considered alongside other subjects treated in the similar technique, such as Turner's Whaling pictures of the 1840s and his Petworth paintings of the late 1820s (fig 6 Chichester Canal). In terms of technique, this pair of paintings is extremely interesting amongst those groups of pictures in that they are indeed clearly related in m o o d to Turner's watercolours. Andrew Wilton has pointed this out and how their visual effect is akin to Turner's greatest watercolours, achieved by building up details on a prepared white ground canvas, producing the luminosity, which is also such a feature of Turner's watercolours. As with the watercolours, these pictures a n d other examples in the Tate Gallery (see, for example, fig 7 Venice with the Salute, circa 1840-45 a n d fig 8 St. Benedetto, looking towards Fusina, exhibited 1843) clearly demonstrate Turner's fascinadon in working up a dazzling and sumptuous effect within blocks of light and shade. Here we have suggestions, none too fixed, of the archetypal Venetian landmarks,


TURNER'S VISION

Figure 7

•JO.


TURNER'S VISION

groups of boats, figures and areas of spectacular lighting in the sky a n d on the water. It is interesting to look closely at the pictures a n d see precise detailing added deftly but with extraordinary vitality in an apparently superficial m a n n e r but contributing enormously to the overall image. T h r e e canvases at the Tate Gallery demonstrate features of the effect achieved in this pair of pictures. O n e canvas is almost plain white with lightly shaded block forms ready for future development (fig 7 Venice with Salute). T h e second canvas demonstrates Turner's most specific painting of Venice where his admiration of Canaletto is apparent (fig 8 St. Benedetto, Looking towards Fusina). H e r e the architecture is clearly defined and easily identified, a n d also includes distinct features such as as gondolas, barges a n d figures. Thirdly (fig 9 The Dogano, San Giorgio, Citella, from steps of the Europa) shows a magnificent finished painting similar in m o o d a n d technique to these with equal romantic illusion a n d allusion, superb lighting, mystical blocks of shape a n d colour, poetic suggestion in all the aspects of the subject - sky, water, movement a n d setting all working together to glorious imaginative effect. Here, a n d likewise in Going to the Ball (San Martino) a n d Returning from the Ball (St. Martha), the buildings have receded gracefully into a distant dream-like setting for the most c h a r m i n g and romantic of all landscapes, making a backdrop for the occasion they celebrate.


THE B E N J A M I N W I N D U S L I B R A R Y

T h e library of Benjamin Windus, painted by John Scarlett Davis in 1835. (figure 12). See Provenance BG Windus overleaf.

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The Previous Owners

BENJAMIN GODFREY W INDUS

1790-1867 Benjamin Windus was an eminent businessman from an established family firm of coachmakers and a director of Globe Insurance. H e also patented 'Godfrey's Cordial', a medicine for children. H e founded an important collection of English paintings and drawings and began to collect Turner's watercolours from about 1820. H e was the owner of the largest single group of Turner's Picturesque Views in England and Wales series. Windus' library, lined with Turner watercolours, was itself painted by J o h n Scarlett Davis in 1835 (see fig 12). T h e present pair of paintings stayed with Windus until his entire collection was auctioned by Christie's in 1853. JOHN JOSEPH ERNEST

GAMBART

1814-1902 J o h n G a m b a r t was an art dealer a n d publisher who began his career working with his father in Belgium a n d finally settled in England in April 1840. H e was one of the leading print publishers of the mid-Victorian period a n d by 1850 h a d established a gallery at 120-121 Pall Mall, London, exhibiting British and European artists, including Turner. H e befriended the leading artists, patrons a n d critics of the day, a m o n g them Joseph Gillott a n d J o h n Ruskin. HENRY WALLIS

1830-1916 H e n r y Willis was a m e m b e r of the new breed of affluent middle-class artist/writer/collectors, a n d he belonged to the fringe of the Pre-Raphaelite movement. His famous work Death of Chatterton (Tate Britain) was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1856 to great public acclaim and particular praise by Ruskin. In later life he became an authority on ceramics and left a large collection to the Victoria a n d Albert M u s e u m . JOSEPH

GILLOTT

1799-1872 Joseph Gillott m a d e his fortune from a patent he secured for a pen nib a n d amassed a vast collection of paintings and drawings which filled three galleries in his Birmingham house a n d one in London. From the early 1850s, in his old age, he began to concentrate less on Old Masters and instead pursued contemporary pictures. His collection included a n u m b e r of other notable ' l u r n e r paintings including Calais Sands (the Royal Academy 1838), as well as works l)y other eminent artists such as J o h n luty, J o h n Linnell, 'FS Cooper, Francis and T h o m a s Danby, William H e n r y H u n t and T h o m a s Webster.

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THE P R E V I O U S O W N E R S

T H E E A R L OF B E C T I V E 1844-1893 The family of the Earl of Bective (family name: Taylour) lived in Headfort House, Ireland, which was bought in 1660 by his ancestor Thomas Taylour of Sussex. He married Lady Alice Maria in 1867 (the only daughter of the Marquess of Downshire) with whom he had two daughters. He became an MP for Westmorland from 1871 to 1892 and was also Lord Lieutenant of Co Meath. J A M E S PRICE d. 1895 James Price was an eminent collector of English paintings who amassed a substantial collection over a period of thirty years, which was sold by Christie's on his death in 1895. SIR DONALD C U R R I E 1825-1909 Sir Donald Currie was a well respected businessman, whose many notable friends included Lord Tennyson and William Gladstone. He began his career working for Cunard, overseeing cargo shipments between Europe and America. In 1862 he set up the Castle Sailing Ship Service operating between Liverpool, London and the East Indies which was subsequently amalgamated with the Union Steamship Company to form the Union-Castle Mail Steamship Company. Queen Victoria awarded him the CMG in 1875 for assisting the government in connection with the Kimberley diamond mine in South Africa and in 1881 he received the KCMG for further services to South Africa. His political career spanned the years 1880-1894, during which time he stood as the Liberal MP for West Perthshire.

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THE P R E V I O U S O W N E R S

SIR HARRY OAKES d. 1943 Sir Harry Oakes was a self-made American millionaire. In 1915 he renounced his allegiance to the USA and became a British Citizen of Canada. Nineteen years later, in 1934, he moved his family to the Bahamas to avoid the Liberal government's harsh taxation. A leading businessman and landowner in the Bahamas and friend of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor (the Duke was Governor at this time), Harry Oakes was elected to the Assembly and in 1939 was knighted by King George VI. He gave large amounts of money to hospitals in England, and donated five Spitfires to the government. O n July 8th 1943 Sir Harry was found murdered at his home in Nassau - 'a murder most foul and unnatural ... surpassing anything in the annals of this Colony' as it was later described in the local press. The following day his son-inlaw, Alfred de Marigny was arrested and charged with the murder. De Marigny had married Nancy Oakes, the eldest of Sir Harry's three children, in secret in America when she was just eighteen years and two days old. She was his second wife. After the wedding she contracted typhoid fever while they were in Mexico together, and nearly died. During this time she also became pregnant. Sir Harry, who thought that De Marigny had treated his first wife badly, was incensed by this and shortly afterwards changed his will to prevent his own children inheriting any of his money before they reached the age of thirty. The De Marigny trial was acknowledged as a fiasco, clouded by confusion and allegations of incompetence, conspiracy and fraud but De Marigny was finally acquitted on November 11th 1943 and to date the murder has never been solved. Just five days later, however, he was charged with being found in possession of illegally acquired petrol. He was found guilty, fined and ordered to leave the Bahamas. O n December 3rd 1943 he and his wife sailed for Cuba. The Oakes family were well-known patrons of the arts whose collection included the famous Vermeer A Lady Writing, now in the National Gallery of Art, Washington. This had been purchased from Knoedler between 1935 and 1939, the same period that the Turners were with them. O n Sir Harry's death, his collection passed to his wife, Eunice.

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Condition Report As a technician T u r n e r was higlily innovative, a n d his use of thin complex glazes mixed in experimental mediums has frequently caused problems for conservators. Turner's technique of the 1840s was m a d e more difficult by his use of watercolour washes to highlight figures a n d areas of detailing (see fig 10). These watercolour washes were so fragile that they seldom remained in place a n d as a result some of the detailed figuring is perhaps less precise than T u r n e r would have conceived. T h e condition of these paintings has been considered by m a n y specialists over the past months and the main areas of discussion focused on the areas of grey pigment in the cloud areas of both paintings (see fig 11). T h e appearance of discoloration is caused by the use of a pigment known as megilp, a m e d i u m of mastic resin dissolved in turpentine a n d linseed oil. Over a short period megilp oxidises and loses the enamel properties that T u r n e r liked so much. O n c e discoloured the areas where meglip was used in the paint have darkened. T h e existence of megilp in these paintings a n d the effect it had produced present a visual characteristic that is well documented in Turner's work. This has to be seen in retrospect as a feature of his experimental technique. T h e original canvases have been relined some time ago. T h e new lining is a tight weave canvas, which has provided a stable a n d secure surface, a n d has not adversely effected the impasto or texture of either painting. Both paintings have an overall craquelure pattern, which is most noticeable in the sky. Each has been surface cleaned in the past twelve years, firstly by J o h n Bull a n d more recently by J o h n Brierley. T h e later work very successfully brought together a delicate conservation project that has finally closed the historical questions of condition that had been attached to the paintings. In Going to the Ball there is little surface retouching. T h e most significant aspects of these are a thin diagonal line approximately one inch in length in the u p p e r left corner, a small circular retouching in the upper right corner a n d a very small area of approximately half an inch square in the water area. In Returning from the Ball there are some more general areas of retouching that are not visible u n d e r n o r m a l lighting conditions. T h e general nature of the in-painting would suggest that these areas have been applied to cover small losses or areas of thinness, rather than significant areas of paint loss.

36


Figure 10

- H A

Figure 11

37


Exhibited & Unexhibited Works Butlin &Joll's list of exhibited Turner oils from 1840 No. 382 383 384 385

Plate 383 357 358 359

Tide Bacchus and Adriadne Venice, Bridge of Sighs Venice Slavers throwing overboard the dead & dying: Typhoon coming

Exhibited 1840 1840 1840 1840

Collection The Tate Gallery, London The Tate Gallery, London Victoria & Albert Museum, London Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

386

360

The J\'ew Moon: I've lost my boat, you shan't have your hoop

1840

The Tate Gallery, London

387

361

Rockets and Blue lights

1840

Sterling and Francine Clark Institute, Williamstown

388

368

J\'eapolitanfisherg^rls surprised bathing by moonlight

1840?

Huntingdon Museum and Art Gallery

389

369

Neapolitan jisher^rls surprised bathing by moonlight

1840?

Private Collection, Scotland

390

362

Ducal Palace Dogano, with port of San Giorgio

1841

Dudley Peter Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College

391

363

Guidecca, La Donna della Salute & San Giorgio

1841

Formerly M r William Wood Prince, Chicago

392

364

Schloss Rosenau, Seat of HRH Prince Albert of Coburg, near Coburg, Germany

1841

Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool

393 394 395 396 397 398 399 400 401 402 403 404

384 366 367 365 385 388 386 387 419 389 390 392

Deposition of John Bellini Dawn of Christianity Glausuc and Scylla The Dogano, San Giorgio Campo Santo, Venice Snow storm Peace - Burial at sea War - The exile and the rock The opening of the Wallhalla The sun of Venice - Going to sea Dogana and Madonna della Salute Venice Shade and Darkness The Evening of the Deluge

1841 1841 1841 1842 1842 1842 1842 1842 1843 1843 1843 1843

Private Collection The Ulster Museum, Belfast KimbeU Art Museum, Fort Worth The Tate Gallery, London The Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo The Tate Gallery, London The Tate Gallery, London The Tate Gallery, London The Tate Gallery, London The Tate Gallery, London National Gallery of Art, Washington DC The Tate Gallery, London

405 406 407 408 409

393 391 394 420 395

Light and Colour (Goethe's theory) St. Benedetto, looking towards Fusina Ostend Fishing boats bringing in a disabled ship Rain, steam and speed, the Great Western Railway

1843 1843 1844 1844 1844

The Tate Gallery, Ijondon The Tate Gallery, London Bayerische National Museum, Munich The Tate Gallery; London The National Gallery, London (538)

410 411 412 413 414 415 416

396 421 422 423 398 399 424

Van Tromp, going about to please his masters 1844 1844 Venice, Maria della Salute 1844 Approach to Venice 1844 Venice Quay, Ducal Palace 1845 Whalers 1845 Whalers 1845 Venice, Evening - Going to the Ball

38

The J Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles The Tate Galler)', Ix)ndon National Gallery of Art, Washington DC The Tate Gallery, London The Tate Gallery, London The Metropolitan Museum, New York The Tate Gallery, London


Exhibited 1845

Collection The Tate Gallery, London

Venice - Moon Venice - Sunset, A Fisher Qmen Mat's cave Going to the Ball, San Martino Returningfiom the Ball, St. Martha Hurrah! For the Whaler Erebus Undine giving the ring to Massaniello The Angel standing in the Sun Whalers boiling blubber The Hero of a Hundred Fights The Wreck Buoy Mercury sent to admonish Aeneas Aeneas relating his story to Dido

1845 1845 1846 1846 1846 1846 1846 1846 1846 1847 1849 1850 1850

The Tate Gallery, London The Tate Gallery, London The Tate Gallery, London

The visit to the tomb The departure of the fleet

1850 1850

The Tate Gallery, London The Tate Galler>', London

No. 417

Hate 425

Title Morning - Returningfiom St. Martina

418 419 420 421 422 423 424 425 426 427 428 429 430

426 427 397 402 403 400 404 405 401 406 407 416

431 432

417 418

-

the Ball,

The Tate Gallery, London The Tate Gallery; London The Tate Gallery, London The Tate Gallery, London The Tate Gallery, London The Walker Art Gallery, Li\ erpool The Tate Gallery, London Destroyed? Formerly The Tate Gallery, London

Butlin &Joirs list of unexhibited Turner oils from 1840 No. 440 441 442

Plate 414 431 429

Title Heidelberg Studies for Dawn of Christianity Rosenau

Date c. 1840-5 c. 1841 c.1841-4

Collection The Tate Gallery, London The Tate Gallery; London Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellor Collection

443 466 467 468 469 470 471 472

413 444 457 458 445 459 446 447

The evening of the Deluge Seascape with storm coming on Seascape with distant coast Seascape with Buoy Sun setting over lake Wreck with fishing boats Rough sea Seascape, Folkstone

C.1843 f.l840 f.l840 C.1840 C.1840 c. 1840-5 c. 1840-5 C.1845

National Gallery of Art, Washington DC The Tate Gallery; London The Tate Gallery, London The Tate Gallery, London The Tate Gallery, London The Tate Gallery; London The Tate Gallery; London Formerly Lord Clark (Sir D Currie beq. to grandson DJ Molteno) Pri\ ate Collection New York

Sunrise with sea monsters Off the More: wind and water Off Ramsgate The Storm The day after the storm Waves breaking

C.1845 C.1840 f.l840 f. 1840-5 f. 1840-5 (-.1840

The Tate Gallery, London Unknown Pri\ate Collection, J a p a n The National Gallery of Wales, Cardiff' The National Museum of Wales, CardifT Yale Center for British An, Paul Mellor Collection

Venice with the Salute Scene in Venice Venetian scene Procession of boats Festival iMgoon scene Riva degli... Water fete Venetian festival River scene from hill

f. 1840-5 c. 1840-5 f. 1840-5 f.l845 f.1845 f.1845 f.1845 f. 1840-5

The The The Fhe The The Fhe The

473 481 476 462 479 484 480 463 481 " 4 8 5 " 482 464 502 503 504 505 506 507 508 532

491 479 492 493 480 494 513 512

39

Tate Tate Tate Fate Tate Tate 'Fate Tate

Gallery; Gallery; Gallery; Gallery; Gallery; Gallery; Gallery; Gallery;

London London London London London London London London


Mallett & Son (Antiques) Ltc 141 N e w Bond Street London W I S 2BS Telephone: 020 7499 7411 Fax: 020 7495 3179 Lanto Synge Managing Director T h e H o n Peter Dixon Director Paula H u n t Director Giles Hutchinson Smith Director J a m e s Harvey Director Mallett website: http://w\vw.mallettantiques.com E-mail: antiques@mallett.co.uk

Spink-Leger 13 Old Bond Street London W I X 4 H U Telephone: 020 7629 3538 Fax: 020 7493 8681 Anthony Spink Chairman Lowell Libson Managing Director E-mail: llibson@spinkandson.com

CREDITS Hulton Archi\e, Frontispiece, p34; Tate Galler>, London, pp 20, 21, 23, 24, 28, 29, 30; Tlie British Museum/Bridgeman Art Library-, p 31; Pri\ate Collection, USA, p 22; T h e Maas Collection, p 33; T h e Museum of Northern Histor\ at the Sir Harry- Oakes Chateau, p35. I'ER.MS A N D

CO.\I)mO.\S

•Ml business transactions are subject to our standard terms and conditions of sale, copies of which are a\ailablc on request. Š Mallett 2001 Designed by Theo Hodges Business Design Consultants Printed by Hyway Printing Group

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Turners Venice - Mallett  

Mallett, in association with Spink-Leger are very proud to be able to offer a pair of great oil paintings by JMW Turner, exhibited by the ar...

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