Joseph Mallord William Turner

Study of a Dragon: For ‘The Goddess of Discord Choosing the Apple of Contention in the Garden of the Hesperides’

1805

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

Medium
Pen and ink on paper
Dimensions
Support: 171 x 262 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D05771
Turner Bequest XCIII 3 a

Catalogue entry

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 Here Turner has drawn the dragon (Ladon, brother of the dragon slain by Jason when capturing the Golden Fleece) crouching on a mountain ridge as it does in the picture; Wilkinson describes it as ‘a particularly hideous serpent, containing all the features of current palaeontology’. This motif may also appear on folios 8 verso and 9 (D05780, D05781).

David Blayney Brown
October 2007

1
Butlin and Joll 1984, pp.44–6 no.57 (pl.67).

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