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The Turner Gallery: A Series Of Sixty Engravings From The Principal Works Of Joseph Mallord William Turner. With a Memoir and Illustrative Text By Ralph Nicholson Wornum, Keeper And Secretary, National Gallery.

Ralph Nicholson Wornum

RA Collection: Book

Record number




London:: Published By James S. Virtue, City Road and Ivy Lane., [1861]

Physical Description

[iv], xxvi, 91, [1] p., frontis. (port.), [60] pl.; 676 mm.


[Frontis., t.p.] - List Of Engravings - Turner: A Biographical Sketch - [Plates, with texts].

Responsibility Note

The plates are unsigned. They include work by Edward Goodall and J.T. Willmore.


L. Herrmann, Turner prints (1990); A. Lyle and D. Perkins, Colour into line: Turner and the art of engraving (1989); J. Gage, J.M.W. Turner: 'a wonderful range of mind' (1987); S. Lambert, The image multiplied: five centuries of printed reproductions (1987); A. Dyson, Pictures to print: the nineteenth-century engraving trade (1984); B. Hunnisett, Steel-engraved book illustration in England (1980).

Summary Note

No publication-date is given in the book. It has been variously assigned to the years between 1859 and 1862.

In 1854 Wornum had been appointed Keeper of the National Gallery, and in 1860-1 he was instrumental in securing the return of the Turner collection to the National Gallery, in accordance with the terms of the artist's will. Wornum pleaded for the enlargement of the National Gallery, and deplored any separation of works by British from those by foreign artists.

During his life-time some large prints were made after Turner's paintings - usually under his detailed supervision. After his death many more of his works were made known to the public by means of these smaller engravings of The Turner Gallery. Most of the plates were made by engravers who had worked with Turner during his life-time.

They show oil-paintings and a few water-colours - landscapes, seascapes and mythological and historical subjects.

A version of this work was published by Leggatt, Hayward & Leggatt (n.d.). In 1875 it was issued under the imprint of Chatto and Windus.


A microfiche version was made by Chadwyck-Healey, 1994.


[Copy 1]: Purchased for RA Library in 1871 (see 'Library Report for the Year 1871', RA Annual Report, Appendix No. 7, p. 25). It is possible this copy was intended to 'replace' the copy bought in 1862 (06/3883) after it had suffered severe water-damage.
[Copy 2]: 25 November 1862: 'Resolved to purchase for the Library "The Turner Gallery" price 11 guineas.' (RA Council Minutes, XII, p. 103). The publisher James S. Virtue was paid £11 (reflecting a shilling in the guinea discount?) during the Michaelmas to Christmas quarter of 1862 (see RA Accounts, Treasurer's Quarterly Abstract of Bills, RAA/TRE/1/4).

Binding Note

20th-century cloth-covered boards; upper cover carrying green morocco label lettered 'The Turner Gallery' within a gilt rococo cartouche; green morocco spine-label lettered 'Turner Gallery', spine lettered 'R.A.'

Name as Subject


Mythology, Greek - Mythology, Roman
Europe - History - Landscapes (environments)
Landscapes (representations) - Seascapes - History paintings - Paintings, British - 19th century
Pictorial works - Great Britain - 19th century


J.M.W. Turner RA, source artist
James Sprent Virtue, publisher
Edward Goodall, engraver
James Tibbetts Willmore ARA, engraver