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This is one of seven oil sketches originally on one long roll of canvas, which Turner is usually thought to have painted in Rome in 1828, though he may have worked on them earlier. Tack holes round the edges show that Turner attached them to a temporary support, such as a board, while working. These sketches set out classical compositions in the manner of Claude Lorrain. This design was used for his picture Ulysses deriding Polyphemus, exhibited in 1829 (now in the National Gallery) which shows the escaping hero of Homer's Odyssey taunting the one-eyed giant, Polyphemus.

August 2004