Joseph Mallord William Turner

Composition Study for a Picture of ‘The Death of Adonis’

c.1802–5

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

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Chalk on paper
Dimensions
Support: 436 x 271 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D04954
Turner Bequest LXXXI 52

Catalogue entry

Inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation within a black chalk border to the left and below, this is a more elaborately worked out study for the picture that Turner planned on folio 25 verso (D04950; Turner Bequest LXXXI 48) as a possible alternative to ‘The Parting of Venus and Adonis’, which has its own study on folio 26 verso (D04952; Turner Bequest LXXXI 50). He never painted a large treatment of the death scene, though a small oil sketch exists (Tate N05493),1 showing the two figures in quite different attitudes, and with only the boles of the trees visible.

Andrew Wilton
May 2013

1
Butlin and Joll 1984, p.115 no.151, pl.157.

Read full Catalogue entry

Explore

You might like