Joseph Mallord William Turner
Boccaccio Relating the Tale of the Bird-Cage exhibited 1828

Artwork details

Boccaccio Relating the Tale of the Bird-Cage
Date Exhibited 1828
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 1219 x 899 mm
frame: 1500 x 1180 x 140 mm
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Not on display

Display caption

Turner exhibited this picture at the Royal Academy in 1828. Despite its title, it is not an illustration to The Decameron, a collection of tales by the Italian poet, Boccaccio. Instead, Turner uses the idea of Boccaccio telling one of his tales as a pretext for painting a group of leisured figures in the style of the eighteenth-century French painter, Antoine Watteau. Turner is also referring to the work of Thomas Stothard, who had illustrated the Decameron in 1825, and who was well known for his clever pastiches of Watteau.

September 2004

About this artwork