Joseph Mallord William Turner

Commentary on Correggio’s ‘St Jerome’ (Inscription by Turner)


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

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Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 187 × 112 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest LXXI 63 a

Catalogue entry

Numbered by Finberg as folio 63a of this sketchbook, this has since been rebound as folio 72 verso. Turner turned the book sideways to make these notes. They read
St. Jerome, probably the under colour is grey for | after the Brown of Asphaltum with traces of oker it is | greenish. The flesh tints are positively cold which | ever provides it as required then all highlights are | warm, here .... The ground only are grey | half tints in the leg and foot of Elizabeth.
For Correggio’s Virgin and Child with St Jerome, Mary Magdalen and the Infant St John the Baptist (‘Il Giorno’), one of the great sights of the Grand Tour in Italy, then of Napoleon’s Louvre and subsequently returned to Parma (Galleria Nazionale), see principally Turner’s Studies in the Louvre sketchbook; in it, he made a copy of the picture (D04385; Turner Bequest LXXII 64) and further notes on it (D04318, D04317; Turner Bequest LXXII 34, 33a). The present brief remarks were probably made during his shorter first visit to Paris on the outgoing stage of his 1802 tour, along with similarly brief comments on Titian’s Entombment in which he compared the two pictures (D04262; Turner Bequest LXXI 62a). For a full discussion of Turner’s investigations of Old Master pictures in the Louvre in 1802, see Introduction to the Louvre book.

David Blayney Brown
April 2003

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