See note to folio 1 verso of the sketchbook (D05767) for its various sketches and studies related to The Goddess of Discord Choosing the Apple of Contention in the Garden of the Hesperides exhibited at the British Institution in 1806 (Tate N00477).1 In the case of this rough composition study, Finberg thought the background, which is shaded in black chalk, suggestive of the picture but suspected ‘the figures point to another subject, – possibly one of the labours of Hercules’. Hill, while acknowledging that the sketch seems ‘more dramatic’ than the picture, rightly observes that ‘all the main elements are present, even down to the fallen [tree] trunk in the right foreground’. He also notes the likely derivation from Alpine scenery which Turner had seen in 1802, a connection that is pronounced in the picture. See also folio 30 (D05816) for a sketch of landscape background, again Alpine in character and probably also related to the picture.
Butlin and Joll 1984, pp.44–6 no.57 (pl.67).