Joseph Mallord William Turner A Classical Harbour Scene: ?The Return of Chryseis 1805

Artwork details

Artist
Title
A Classical Harbour Scene: ?The Return of Chryseis
Date 1805
Medium Pen and ink on paper
Dimensions Support: 150 x 258 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D05550
Turner Bequest XC 38 a
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Catalogue entry

For the various versions in this sketchbook of an ancient seaport with figures embarking or landing, see note to folio 1 (D05491). Of the present example Hill observes: ‘Very Claudian, as many of these studies are, and anticipating the Carthage pictures of a decade later’ – Dido Building Carthage and The Decline of Carthage exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1815 and 1817 (National Gallery, London and Tate N00499).1 However, the composition is a coloured version of the monochrome sketch on folio 34 (D05541) which Turner’s inscription associates with the return of the daughter of Chryses, from Homer’s Iliad.

David Blayney Brown
December 2009

1
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984, pp.94–6 no.131 (pl.133); pp.100–1 no.135 (pl.137).

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