This figure, like that on folio 19 recto (D04013) and perhaps some others in this book, may have been copied from a print after an Old Master painting. Turner’s intention may have been that it represents Elijah, exhorting the true God of the Israelites to send rain and prove the priests of Baal in error. That subject was never executed, but was transmuted into another Bible subject, The Fifth Plague of Egypt (Indianapolis Museum of Art),1 exhibited in 1800, in which this figure, in different drapery, appears on the right of the composition as Moses. The drawing on the next page, folio 23 recto (D04017), may also relate to the Baal subject.
Butlin and Joll 1984, pp.10–12 no.13, pl.10 (colour).