Joseph Mallord William Turner Solitude, engraved by William Say 1814

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Artwork details

Solitude, engraved by William Say
Date 1814
Medium Etching and mezzotint on paper
Dimensions Image: 177 x 257 mm
Acquisition Presented by A. Acland Allen through the Art Fund 1925
View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

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This is one of the published plates of the Liber Studiorum, a series of prints that Turner produced between 1807 and the early 1820s. The image was first etched in outline by Turner himself, and the gradations of light and shade were then introduced in mezzotint, in this case by William Say. The title Solitude is not Turner's own. His only reference to the subject suggests that he may have wanted to link the reclining woman with Mary Magdalene, although he places her not in a Biblical landscape but in an unlikely Arcadian setting.

August 2004

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