Catalogue entry

T05187 Dido and Aeneas: The Morning of the Chase engr. W.R. Smith, pub.1842

Line-engraving 409 × 614 (16 1/8 × 24 3/16) on wove paper 653 × 827 (25 7/8 × 32 9/16); plate-mark 535 × 713 (21 1/16 × 28 1/16)
Engraved inscriptions: ‘Painted by J.M.W. Turner, R.A.’ below image b.l., ‘Engraved by W.R. Smith.’ below image b.r., 'LONDON: PUBLISHED JUNE 23RD. 1842, BY THOS. GRIFFITH, ESQRE. 14 WATERLOO PLACE, FOR J.M.W. TURNER, R.A.’ below image at centre; Turner studio blind stamp b.r. edge of image Purchased (Grant-in-Aid) 1988
Prov: Artist's sale, Christie's 24–7 June 1873;...; N.W. Lott and H.J. Gerrish Ltd, from whom bt by Tate Gallery
Lit: Rawlinson II 1913, no.652, first published state; Herrmann 1990, pp.228, 230

Published as a single plate, 1842. Original oil painting: Tate Gallery, N00494 (Butlin and Joll 1984, no.129). This impression of ‘Dido and Aeneas’ and that of ‘St Mark's Place’ (T05188), both of which are stamped with Turner's studio stamp, were among a group of large copperplate engravings auctioned during the third sale of engravings from Turner's studio on 24–7 June 1873. They were described in Christie's sale catalogue as ‘Impressions of the Five Unpublished plates’; the other three plates were ‘Caligula's Palace’ (see T04789), ‘Crossing the Brook’ and ‘Mercury and Herse’. None of these plates, however, was unpublished, since the engravings were issued by Turner himself, under the name of his agent, Thomas Griffith, in 1842.

This was the only large plate after Turner that William Raymond Smith (active 1818–48) executed, although he had collaborated with Turner on many previous occasions, particularly for the series Picturesque Views in England and Wales (see T04503-T04612) and for Rogers's Italy (T04631-T04670). Despite Smith's prolific activity as an engraver after Turner and other artists, very little is known of the man.

Published in:
Tate Gallery: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions 1986-88, London 1996