Excerpt from A Complete Inventory of the Drawings of the Turner Bequest, Vol. 1: With Which Are Included the Twenty-Three Drawings Bequeathed
Of the oil paintings 34; were almost immediately placed on exhibition. These were constantly added to, until by May, 1857, they had reached the number of 105. During the last year or two further selections have been made from the unfinished canvases.
Turning now from the oil paintings on canvas, we iwill confine our attention to the drawings and sketches in colour and pencil. The colour sketches and drawings are mostly in water colour, but a few are in oil on paper or millboard, and there are a few pastels.
During February, 1857, 102 of these coloured drawings were placed on exhibition.
Writing in April, 1858, the Director said, The plan which Mr. Ruskin originally proposed for the preservation of the more delicate coloured drawings from the effects of light, by placing them in cases fitted to contain a given number, has been carried out. A selection of other drawings, requiring only to be carefully mounted, will in due time be made. (report, 1858, p.
The drawings placed in the cabinets designed by Mr. Ruskin numbered 400. These were ready for exhibition on 15th May, 1858. In addition to these drawings were provided with raised mounts, so that they can be shown and handled.
Although in his report to the Director Mr. Ruskin speaks of the 400 drawings as selected for exhibition, he did not apparently contemplate that they should be hung on the walls in the ordinary way, They were enclosed in portable mahogany cases, and only handed out when any one wanted to examine them. The additional drawings were apparently intended to be kept in portfolios, and to be shown on special application.
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