J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner A Classical Harbour Scene: ?The Return of Chryseis 1805

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 38 Verso:
A Classical Harbour Scene: ?The Return of Chryseis 1805
Turner Bequest XC 38a
Pen and ink and watercolour, with scratching out, on off-white wove paper, prepared with a grey wash, 150 x 258 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
For the various versions in this sketchbook of an ancient seaport with figures embarking or landing, see note to folio 1 (D05491). Of the present example Hill observes: ‘Very Claudian, as many of these studies are, and anticipating the Carthage pictures of a decade later’ – Dido Building Carthage and The Decline of Carthage exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1815 and 1817 (National Gallery, London and Tate N00499).1 However, the composition is a coloured version of the monochrome sketch on folio 34 (D05541) which Turner’s inscription associates with the return of the daughter of Chryses, from Homer’s Iliad.

David Blayney Brown
December 2009

Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984, pp.94–6 no.131 (pl.133); pp.100–1 no.135 (pl.137).

How to cite

David Blayney Brown, ‘A Classical Harbour Scene: ?The Return of Chryseis 1805 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, December 2009, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, December 2012, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-a-classical-harbour-scene-the-return-of-chryseis-r1129863, accessed 24 April 2018.