Joseph Mallord William Turner

Commentary on Titian’s ‘Entombment’ (Inscription by Turner)

1802

View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 187 x 112 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D04262
Turner Bequest LXXI 62 a

Catalogue entry

Numbered by Finberg as folio 62a of this sketchbook, this has since been rebound as folio 71 verso. Turner turned the book sideways to make these notes. They read:
This Dead Christ by Titian – copy’d by V.| the Flesh is produced by the under colours or ground like Indian Red and Aspaltum | The second colour cold with shadows slightly | indicated, the still colours the two | mastic tints are like Correggio’s Jerome.| Oker and if a warm is wanted the | under colour is engraven unto. The drapery | and the ... under the body, for these are produced by glazing over white or | warm as the Subject requires. Thus his | Drapery, figures have their solidity | and clearness. The ... is treated | in like modes
Titian’s (Tiziano Vecelli circa 1477–1576) Entombment is still in the Louvre; Correggio’s (Antonio Allegi, called Correggio circa 1495–1534) Virgin and Child with St Jerome, Mary Magdalen and the Infant St John the Baptist (‘Il Giorno’), taken as plunder by French troops in Italy in 1796, was returned to Parma in 1816 and remains in the city’s Galleria Nazionale. Turner’s notes on the pictures in this sketchbook, including further remarks on the Correggio on folio 72 verso (D04264), indicate that he used it again in Paris. Most of Turner’s many comments on and drawings after pictures in the Louvre were made in his Studies in the Louvre sketchbook (Tate D04275–D04390: Turner Bequest LXXII), during his longer stay in the city on his way home from his tour of the Alps. For a full discussion of Turner’s work there in 1802, and his particular interest in the work of Titian, see Introduction to the Louvre book. The Louvre book contains a study of the picture discussed here (D04315; Turner Bequest LXXII 32), and further notes on it (see especially D04314; Turner Bequest LXXII 31a): and one of the Correggio (D04358; Turner Bequest LXXII 64), also with further remarks (D04318, D04317; Turner Bequest LXXII 34, 33a). The presence of these brief comments in the first sketchbook to be used on the tour, on Turner’s landing in France and on the way to the capital, suggests that they were made on his first, shorter stay in the city, around 18–26 July. Ian Warrell has suggested that another isolated drawing after Pier Francesco Mola in the France, Savoy, Piedmont sketchbook (Tate D04394; Turner Bequest LXXIII 2) was made at this earlier stage.1

David Blayney Brown
April 2003

1
Ian Warrell, Turner on the Seine, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London 1999, pp.15–16.

Read full Catalogue entry