Joseph Mallord William Turner
Figures in a Building c.1830–5

Artwork details

Figures in a Building
Date c.1830–5
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 914 x 1219 mm
frame: 1310 x 1620 x 205 mm
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Not on display

Display caption

Besides Rembrandt, Turner's later paintings of figure subjects were influenced by more recent artists, such as RP Bonington and CR Leslie, who painted historical scenes in interiors; he was also influenced by the current fashion for illustrations of such subjects in popular magazines. This is one of several works where Turner seems to be developing a historical subject without any very clear direction, as if hoping a theme might occur as he moved his paints around on the canvas. The stone vault resembles a dungeon and the figures are in period costume. The subject is painted over an earlier landscape.

August 2004

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