Nelson & His World

Discussion on the life and times of Admiral Lord Nelson
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 Post subject: Turner Trafalgar sketchbooks
PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2013 9:29 am 

Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 6:30 pm
Posts: 284
Location: England
Whilst the NMM 'Turner and the Sea' exhibition makes waves everywhere, it seems a good time to mention the wonderful series of Turner/Trafalgar sketchbooks and studies held at Tate Britain.

Compiled at Sheerness after the Victory's return to home waters post-Trafalgar, they served to inform Turner's full-scale works afterwards.

Here are links to some of (my personal) highlights:

Nelson Sketchbook (1805) full Gallery: ... k-65736/64

Turner's notes on the men and officers he met/researched when compiling his sketches are wonderful. Some fascinating descriptions in the 'Nelson Sketchbook' include: 'Mr Atkinson. Square. Large. Light hair, grey eye. 5 11 ... Lt. Williams. middle s. small dark eye. 5 8 ... Mr. Robins. Midshipman. young Dark Eyes. rather small. good teeth. 5 9 ... Boatswain. Dark arched E brow forward chin. Sharp look...'

The 'Victory': from Quarterdeck to Poop:

Diagram of the Quarterdeck of the 'Victory' with Positions of Nelson and Others at the Battle of Trafalgar:

Turner's own description of his painting 'The Battle of Trafalgar, as Seen from the Mizen Starboard Shrouds of the Victory' 1806:

There are many other sketches from the collection, too numerous to list, available to view at Tate Britain online. In addition to the linked images, I was particularly taken with Turner's studies of the Victory's seamen at work.


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