Joseph Mallord William Turner
Story of Apollo and Daphne exhibited 1837

Artwork details

Story of Apollo and Daphne
Date Exhibited 1837
Medium Oil paint on wood
Dimensions Support: 1099 x 1988 mm
frame: 1505 x 2375 x 200
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Not on display

Display caption

Turner followed his usual process of painting the sky with unmodified oil paint. Over this lies a transparent glaze, rich in oil, which has become greenish-yellow and more obvious now. Turner strengthened the mountain tops, some clouds, and a building, by adding similar paint after the original had cracked as it dried. This paint retains texture and body, and may have included resin or megilp, which would account for the early crack formation.

The landscape and receding hills were probably painted with the wax-oil formulation he used in other paintings to give a smooth translucent paint, enlivened with dabs of megilp-rich impasto for details. In the shadows of the landscape Turner probably used a paint rich in lead-based driers, which would have formed the wide cracks very quickly, even as it dried.

February 2010

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