Description
Creator
William Jackson (1730 - 1803)
Title(s)
  • Sketchbook
Date
1785
Medium
Various: most are in pencil, pen and ink, and watercolour, others in pencil only
Support
laid paper with a Britannia watermark
Mount
a sketchbook, extensively inscribed
Object Type
Watercolour

Collection
Catalogue Number
FT893
Description Sources
Examination (images)

Provenance

Descended from the artist to his illegitimate son William Emsley (1797–1866), in whose family it descended to a private collection in 1997.

Associated People & Organisations

Private Collection
William Emsley (1797 - 1866), Exeter, 1803
Bibliography
William Jackson, 'A Short Sketch of my own Life [written in 1802]', Gainsborough's House Review, ed. Amal Asfour and Paul Williamson (ed.), Gainsborough's House Society: Sudbury, 1997, pp. 79-97

Comment

This sketchbook contains drawings made by William Jackson on an excursion to the continent in 1785 in the company of James White (see also FT892). The latter part of the book includes sheets stuck in from another sketchbook, with drawings evidently by Jackson’s son Thomas from 1782 and 1783.

White and Jackson left London on 30 July and returned on 12 October. They spent over a week in Paris before heading south to Lyons and the mountains of Savoy. On 1 September they travelled over Mount Cenis and into Italy, where their destination was Turin, the home of Jackson’s son Thomas. They left Turin on 13 September, returning over Mount Cenis to Geneva, continuing up through Lausanne, Besancon, Epinal, Nancy, Metz, Namur, Brussels, and Antwerp, and finally crossing the channel from Calais on 10 October. Although the tour was relatively brief, the experience must have been significant to Jackson, as his description of it fills almost half of his autobiographical sketch covering seven decades of life.1 The impact of Towne’s own continental travels is clear and unsurprising, given his friendships with Jackson and White. Not only do Jackson’s drawings show his knowledge of Towne’s sketches of 1781 (see the Comment at FT892) but also his travel arrangements may have been influenced by Towne’s experiences (see FT165). 

The detailed contents are as follows:

Outer front cover: marble boards with label, dark brown ink inscr. “No 1 / WJ – in 85 / Tour[?] of Geneva”

Inner cover: pencil sketch of mountain tops

fol. 1r: pencil sketch of mountain tops. Inscr. pencil “The Drawings in this Book were taken on the Spot / by William Jackson during a tour on the Continent / in the Year 1785”

1v & 2r: sketch, pencil, pen and brown ink, watercolour. Top right of 2r in brown ink over pencil “Near Echelles”, top left of 1v “No1” in brown ink

2v & 3r: blank

3v & 4r: pencil sketch of mountain tops. Top left of 3v in brown ink over pencil “No2 Looking out of a Passage Window / at the Grand Chartreux [but “Chartreux” in pencil].”

4v & 5r: pencil, pen and brown ink, watercolour sketch. Top left of 4v “No3” in brown ink; top right of 5r “Grand Chartreux” in brown ink over pencil

5v & 6r: blank

6v & 7r: pencil and brown ink and watercolour sketch. Top left of 6v in brown ink “No4”, top right of 7r in brown ink over pencil “above G.Charteux”

7v & 8r: pencil, pen and brown ink, watercolour sketch. Top left of 7v “No5” in brown ink, top right of 8r “No[with tin hat]tre Dame at the G.Chartreux” over trace of pencil inscr.

8v & 9r: (fol. 8 has become detached) pencil, pen and brown ink, watercolour sketch. Top mid of 8v “No6” in brown ink, top right of 9r “Looking back from the Hermitage of St Bruno” in brown ink over pencil

9v: blank

10r: pencil sketch. Top left “No7” and left side (at right angle) “Hermitage of St Bruno” in brown ink over pencil; also pencil inscrs. “Rock” and illegible

10v & 11r: sketch in pencil, pen and brown ink, watercolour. Top left of 10v “No8 Near St Bruno.” over pencil

11v & 12r: pencil sketch of rocks and house roofs. Top left of 11v “No.9 / At quitting the Chartreux” in brown ink, pencil inscr. 12r “Perpendicular” and “Trees”

12v & 13r: pencil, pen and brown ink, watercolour. Top left “No10” of 12v in brown ink, bottom left of 12v “Below the Chartreux. / The Cleft descends three / times as deep and wide in / a Torrent” in brown ink over pencil.

13v & 14r: pencil, pen and grey ink, watercolour. Top left of 13v “No11” in brown ink, mid-right of 14r inscr. in brown ink “Below the Chartreux. / This descends much / deeper – a Road on / the right and a / Torrent at the Bottom”; just below it a pencil inscr. “Below the Chartreux” and bottom-right corner further pencil inscr. following the remainder of the ink inscr. above it.

14v & 15r: pencil, pen and grey ink, watercolour. Top left of 14v “No12 / Dark naked Rocks / of a vast Height” in brown ink, and erased pencil inscr; further inscr. on top right of 15r in brown ink over pencil “Five Times as high – / naked Rock / The Gate way as you / approach the Chartreux. / This view is as you leave it.”

15v: pencil sketch of mountainous road. Top left in brown ink “No15” and pencil inscr. “[. . .] Rock”, “Middle Trees”, and “Water”

16r: blank

16v & 17r: pencil, pen and grey ink, watercolour. Top left of 16v in brown ink “No14. Below / the Chartreux.” and bottom of 16v in pencil “Near the grand Chartreuse”

17v & 18r: waterfall in pencil, pen and grey ink, watercolour. Top right of 18r “No15. Near the Road”

18v & 19r: further waterfall in pencil, pen and grey ink, watercolour. Top-left corner of 18v (bottom-left corner of the composition which is at right angles to the page) in brown ink over pencil “Below the Chartreux”, in brown ink top right of 19r (top left of composition) “No16”

19v & 20r: pencil, watercolour sketch of waterfall. Right edge of 20r in brown ink “No17 A Mill Dam[?] on the Torrent of the Chartreuse” over pencil

20v & 21r: pencil sketch of mountains and church tower. Top left of 20v in brown ink “No18”

21v & 22r: pencil sketch of mountain tops. Top left of 21v in brown ink “No19”

22v & 23r: pencil outline of mountains. Top left of 22v in brown ink “No20”

23v & 24r: pencil outline of mountains. Top left of 23v in brown ink “No21”

24v: pencil sketch of a bridge. Top left in brown ink “No22”

25r: blank

25v & 26r: mountain sketch at dusk, pencil, pen and brown ink, watercolour. Top left of 25v in pencil “Near [Michel?]” and in brown ink “No23”

26v & 27r: pencil, pen and grey ink, watercolour sketch. Top left of 26v in pencil “Near St Michel” and top right of 27r “No24” in brown ink

27v & 28r: pencil, pen and grey ink, watercolour. Top left of 27v in pencil “Near Michel” and top right of 28r “No25” in brown ink

28v & 29r: pencil sketch of trees, mountains and church tower. Top left of 28v in brown ink “No26” and top right of 28v in pencil “St Michel”

29v & 30r: pencil, pen and brown ink, watercolour. Top left of 29v in pencil “Near Modena [Modana?]” and top right of 30r in brown ink “No27”

30v & 31r: pencil outline of mountains. Top left of 30v “No28” in brown ink and “Modana” in pencil. Bottom of 31r in pencil “Fields”, “Cliff”, and “Trees”

31v & 32r: pencil, pen and grey ink, watercolour. Top left of 31v “Near la Chamberi” in pencil, top right of 32r in brown ink “No29”

32v & 33r: pencil outline of mountain tops. Top left of 32v in brown ink “No30”

33v & 34r: pencil, pen and grey ink, watercolour. Top left of 33v “Novaleu[?]” in pencil and “No31” in brown ink. Top middle of 34r in pencil “Roche Melur[?]”

34v & 35r: pencil, pen and grey and brown inks, watercolour (the brown for mountain tops). Top left of 34v in brown ink “No32 / Mount viro as it / appears from the Rampart / of Turin at 65 Miles / distance”

35v & 36r: pencil, pen and grey and brown inks. Top left of 35v “No33” in brown ink, and “From the Capuchines / near Turin” in pencil

36v & 37r: blank

37v & 38r: pencil, pen and brown ink, watercolour. Top left of 37v in brown ink “From the Supanga[?] / No34” and in pencil “Mt Viro[?]”; also in pencil mid-top of 38r “Mont Geneve” and top right of 38r in pencil “Rocha Melus[?]”

38v & 39r: pencil, pen and grey ink. Top left of 38v in brown ink “No35” and mid-top of 38v in pencil “St Michel”

39v & 40r: pencil, pen and brown ink, watercolour. Top left of 39v in brown ink “No36” and mid-top of 39v in pencil “Near the Post[?] on Mont Cenis[?]”; also pencil, centre of 40r “Mt Geneva[Geneve?]”

40v & 41r: pencil sketch of buildings. Top left of 40v in brown ink “No37” and in pencil below it “The Port[Post?] of Mt Cenis”

41v & 42r: pencil sketch of buildings. Top left of 41v in pencil “No38 / From la Balance in Geneva” and top right of 42v in pencil “Top of the Tower”

42v & 43r: pencil, pen and grey ink, watercolour. Top left of 42v “No39 / Lake of Geneva” and top centre “Jura” in pencil

43v & 44r: pencil and brown ink sketch. Top left of 43v in pencil “No40 / From the Tower / of Geneva” and middle of 44r “L’Aiguille d Argentiere”

44v & 45r: pencil, pen and brown ink, watercolour. Top left in pencil of 44v “No.41 / Mt Blank &c / from Geneva”

45v & 46r: pencil sketch of Lake Geneva. Top left of 45v in pencil “No42 / Geneva” and centre of 45v in pencil “buckle”[?]

46v & 47r: pencil sketch of Lake Geneva. Top left of 46v in pencil “No43 / The Lake of Geneva / at Rolle[?]”

47v & 48r: pencil sketch of Lausanne. Top left of 47v in pencil “No44” and top right in pencil of 48r “The Church & Hospital of / Lausanne from the Inn Window / Lion d’Or” and top centre of 48r in pencil “13 [or B?]”

48v & 49r: pencil sketch of mountains. Top left of 48v in pencil “No45 / The head of the Lake / from Lausanne”

49v & 50r: pencil sketch. Top left of 49v in pencil “No46 / Looking down the Lake / at Lausanne”

50v & 51r: pencil and watercolour sketch. Top left of 50v pencil “No47 / M.Blanc from Leseva[?]”

51v & 52r: pencil, pen and brown and grey inks, watercolour. Top left of 51v pencil “No48 / Forest of Arden”

52v & 53r: blank

53v: blank

54r: pencil sketch. Left edge pencil “Wookey Hole”

54v & 55r: pencil sketch. Top left of 54v pencil “.... of the Water[?] at Wookey”

55v & 56r: pencil sketch. Top left of 55v pencil “Farther down”

56v & 57r: pencil sketch. Top left of 56v “Entrance to Cheddar Cliffs”

57v & 58r: pencil sketch. Top left of 57v pencil “Cheddar Cliffs”

58v & 59r: pencil sketch. Top left of 58v pencil “Cheddar Cliffs”

59v & 60r: pencil sketch. Top right of 60r pencil “Cheddar Cliffs”

60v & 61r: blank but evidence of a seal or adhesive on 61r

61v: blank

62r: blank, but with a sketch stuck into it, pencil, pen and grey ink, watercolour (on verso of which is another sketch, a pencil outline)

62v: blank

63r: blank but with double page of sketchbook stuck into it, as follows: 1r pencil, pen and grey ink, and grey and brown wash; 1v blank; 2r pencil sketch with pencil inscrs “light” and “dark blue”, with some brown watercolour stain; 2v more brown watercolour stain and a few pencil marks

63v: blank

64r: blank, but with double page of sketchbook stuck into it, as follows: 1r pencil, pen and grey ink, and grey wash sketch; 1v in grey ink “Near Munich / Septr. 14th. 1783”; 2r pencil sketch of Alpine scene; 2v blank

64v: blank

65r: blank but with double page of sketchbook (these are all laid sketchbook insertions) stuck in, as follows: 1r pencil, pen and grey ink, watercolour tree study; 1v inscr. in grey ink “No3 / On Lake Starenberg / July 10 1783”; 2r pencil inscr. “A Back View of Miss Fibb / from the Life” and brown inscr. “T.Jackson / Augt. 20 1782”; 2v grey ink inscr. “View of Exeter / Augt 20 1782”

65v: blank

66r: blank but with single sheet stuck in (of pencil, pen and grey ink, grey wash), whose verso is inscr. in brown ink “Near Insbruck” evidently in T. Jackson’s hand

66v: blank

67r: blank

67v: blank

68r: blank but with double page of sketchbook stuck in as follows: 1r pencil and grey wash sketch; 1v blank; 2r pencil sketch of continental town; 2v pencil inscr. “Munich”

68v: blank

69r: blank but with single page of sketchbook stuck in (pencil, pen and grey ink, watercolour), whose verso is inscr. in brown ink “No1 / Scene on Lake Starenberg, / Drawn on the Spot July 8th. 1783”

69v: blank

70r: blank with cut-down sheet stuck in of pencil sketch of boat

70v: blank

71r: blank with sketch on laid paper of man and woman, pencil and pen and brown ink

71v: blank

72r: blank with pencil and grey wash tree study stuck in

72v: blank

73r: blank with pencil study of man and donkey stuck in, inscr. in pencil left “VV[one above the other] a N”

73v: blank

74r: blank with sheet stuck in of shipping, pencil, pen and grey ink

74v: blank

75r: blank with sheet stuck in of pencil and pen and brown ink study of three figures and a donkey

75v: blank

76r: blank with sheet stuck in of pencil and pen and brown ink study of two figures and a horse

76v: blank

77r: blank with pencil study of a man, pencil inscr. “IVV[One on top of eachother] a G]

77v: blank

78r: blank with sheet stuck in of pencil study of a cow

78v: blank

79r: blank with sheet stuck in of pencil pen and brown ink study of two figures and a horse

79v: blank

80r: blank with sheet stuck in of pencil and pen and brown ink study of a figure

80v: blank

81r: blank with sheet stuck in of pencil and pen and brown ink study of a figure

81v: blank

82r: blank with sheet stuck in of pencil and pen and brown ink study of two figures

82v: blank

83r: blank with sheet stuck in of pencil pen and brown ink study of a woman

83v: bank

84r: blank with sheet stuck in of pencil pen and brown ink study of three figures

84v: blank

85r: blank with sheet stuck in of pencil study of two figures

85v: pencil study

86r: blank with sheet stuck in of pencil study of landscape with inscr. below it “G Poussin”

86v & 87r: pencil outline of boulders

87v & 88r (88r being the inner side of the board): pencil outline of towers, evidently the same towers as in 85v, pencil inscr. bottom right of 88r (upside down) “Phalana Bombyx Vinula[?]

by Richard Stephens

Footnotes

  1. 1 Published in full as Jackson 1997, pp.57–102.

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