Joseph Mallord William Turner Ancient Rome; Agrippina Landing with the Ashes of Germanicus exhibited 1839

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Artwork details

Title
Ancient Rome; Agrippina Landing with the Ashes of Germanicus
Date Exhibited 1839
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 914 x 1219 mm
frame: 1230 x 1530 x 140 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
N00523
On display at Tate Britain

Display caption

Here Turner has used Baiae, in the Bay of Naples, as the backdrop for the myth of Apollo and the Cumaean Sibyl. The latter asked the Roman god to grant her life for as many years as the grains of sand she could hold in her hand. However, she omitted to ask for eternal youth and wasted away until only her voice remained. The poignant theme of her story is reflected in Turner’s landscape. The passage of time has wrought changes to the Roman architecture of the resort, but the golden beauty of the landscape remains undiminished.

February 2010

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