Joseph Mallord William Turner

‘Dryope’

1805

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

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Pen and ink on paper
Dimensions
Support: 143 x 228 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D05868
Turner Bequest XCIV 16

Catalogue entry

By a woodland pool, the nymph Dryope stoops to pick a flower, as described in Book 9 of Ovid’s Metamorphoses. For Ovid subjects in this sketchbook see note to folio 13 (D05865). In the poem the episode shown here follows closely from the story of Hercules, terminating in his slaughter of Lichas depicted on folio 15 (D05867) and his own ensuing death. Dryope, who has been violated by Apollo, picks a flower for her son unaware that it is the chaste nymph Lotis, who has been changed into a flower while fighting off the attentions of Priapus. As punishment, Dryope will herself be transformed into a tree.
Verso:
Blank save for some splashes of ink or wash and green watercolour

David Blayney Brown
December 2007

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