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While in his later exhibits Turner’s often referred to the works or styles of his contemporaries and fellow exhibitors, his early submissions measured themselves against the old masters. This picture was shown in 1803, the year after he had studied the great collections in the Louvre in Paris. Titian’s St. Peter Martyr (destroyed; see the reproductive print above) was then hanging there, having been removed from Venice by Napoleon’s troops, and was among his sources for his work.

August 2004