Joseph Mallord William TurnerThe Cave of Despair c.1835

Share this artwork

Artwork details

Artist
Title
The Cave of Despair
Date c.1835
MediumOil paint on mahogany
Dimensionssupport: 508 x 813 mm frame: 608 x 908 x 70 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
N05522
Not on display

Catalogue entry

451. [N05522] The Cave of Despair, from Spenser's ‘Faery Queene’? c. 1835

THE TATE GALLERY, LONDON (5522)

Mahogany, 20 × 32 (51 × 81)

Coll. Turner Bequest 1856 (159, 1 unidentified 2'8 1/2" × 1'8 1/2"; identified 1946 by chalk number on back); transferred to the Tate Gallery 1947.

Lit. Davies 1946, pp. 165, 188; Gage 1968, p. 681, repr. p. 676, fig. 48.

Martin Davies catalogued this picture as ‘A Visit to the Underworld (?)’, old Tate Gallery catalogues as ‘Unidentified Subject’, and Lawrence Gowing as ‘An Allegory of Time’ on account of the hour-glass held by the child-like figure in the centre. More recently, however, John Gage has identified the subject as an illustration to Spenser's Faery Queene. Charles Eastlake was painting an illustration to the same poem for Sir John Soane while Turner was with him in Rome in 1828–9 (repr… (read more)

About this artwork

Find similar artworks