Display caption

Samuel Rogers was a banker, poet, collector and wit, as well as a friend and executor of Turner. He commissioned Turner to design illustrations for a new edition of his long poem Italy. The book, with its finely-crafted steel-engravings, appeared in 1830, and was followed a few years later by a companion volume of Rogers's Poems. These were hugely successful publications, bringing Turner's work to a new generation that included the young John Ruskin. Not surprisingly, Turner was subsequently asked to illustrate the works of other contemporary poets, such as Sir Walter Scott and Lord Byron.

September 2004