Joseph Mallord William Turner

Study for ‘The Decline the Carthaginian Empire’


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 88 x 114 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXLI 32 a

Catalogue entry

Drawn with the sketchbook inverted and continued on folio 33 (D10641) this study is very badly rubbed, especially in this half of the composition. However Finberg was surely right to link it to The Decline of the Carthaginian Empire (Tate N00499)1 exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1817. The composition is especially close in D10641, including the group of trees alongside the harbour at the centre of the picture and the round building on the left. Ideas for a classical arcade and buildings on a hill running from folio 30 verso to the recto of the present leaf (D10636–D10639) are probably also related, though more distantly.
There is a composition study for the picture in the Yorkshire 1 sketchbook (Tate D11032; Turner Bequest CXLIV 101a) and further sketches and related verse are in the Richmond Hill; Hastings to Margate sketchbook (Tate D10555; Turner Bequest CXL 73a).

David Blayney Brown
July 2011

Butlin and Joll 1984, pp.100–1 no.135 (pl.137).

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