Joseph Mallord William Turner

Study for ‘Apollo and Python’

c.1799–1805

View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Chalk on paper
Dimensions
Support: 271 x 436 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D04970
Turner Bequest LXXXI 68

Catalogue entry

Turner did not exhibit his painting of Apollo and Python at the Royal Academy until 1811 (Tate N00488).1 Here, with the page turned horizontally, the enclosed, brooding setting inspired by Salvator Rosa (1615–1673) is fully imagined, though it was to undergo major modifications before reaching its final form, as was the serpent itself. Apollo himself does not appear here, though Turner sketched a figure that may be an idea for him on folio 36 recto opposite (D04971; Turner Bequest LXXXI 69).

Andrew Wilton
May 2013

1
Butlin and Joll 1984, p.82 no.115, pl.119.

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