Hedging and Ditching (Liber Studiorum, part X, plate 47)
Designed and etched by Joseph Mallord William Turner (British, London 1775–1851 London)
J. C. Easling (British, active 1807–33)
Joseph Mallord William Turner (British, London 1775–1851 London)
May 23, 1812
Etching and mezzotint; first state of four
plate: 7 5/16 x 10 1/4 in. (18.6 x 26 cm)
sheet: 8 3/8 x 11 9/16 in. (21.3 x 29.4 cm)
Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1928
Not on view
Turner distilled his ideas about landscape In "Liber Studiorum" (Latin for Book of Studies), a series of seventy prints plus a frontispiece published between 1807 and 1819. To establish the compositions, he made brown watercolor drawings, then etched outlines onto copper plates. Professional engravers usually developed the tone under Turner's direction, and Easling here added mezzotint to detail an agricultural subject based on sketches made during a return journey from Portsmouth in 1807. Careful husbandry had patriotic overtones during Britain's extended war with Napoleonic France. and, despite a realistic veneer, the image evokes passing time by placing the winter activity of hedge building next to the warm weather one of ditch clearing. The letter "P" above the image indicates Turner's category of Pastoral landscape.
Signature: in plate: "Drawn & Etched by I.M.W. Turner R.A./ Engraved by C. Easling"
Inscription: in plate, above image: "P"; below: "Published May 23. 1812, by I.M.W. Turner, Queen Ann Street West"
Vendor: P. & D. Colnaghi & Co.
Finberg 47 i/iv; Rawlinson 47 i/iv
William George Rawlinson Turner's Liber Studiorum: A Description and A Catalogue. Macmillan & Co., 2nd ed. London, 1906, cat. no. 47 i/iv, pp. 114-5.
Alexander Joseph Finberg The History of Turner's Liber Studiorum, with a new catalogue raisonné. Ernest Benn Limited, London, 1924, cat. no. 47 i/iv, pp. 186-8.
Ann Chumbley, Ian Warrell Turner and the Human Figure: Studies of Human Life. Exh. cat., Tate Gallery, London. London, 1989, cat. no. 27, p. 38.
Christiana Payne Toil and Plenty: Images of the Agricultural Landscape in England 1780-1890 Exh. cat., New Haven and London. New Haven and London, 1993, cat. no. 90, p. 185.
Gillian Forrester Turner's 'Drawing Book': The Liber Studiorum, exh. cat., London, Tate Gallery, 20 February–2 June. London, 1996, illustrates: related watercolor, ca. 1808 (Tate Britain), and first published state, 1812, cat. no. 47, p. 109.