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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