Joseph Mallord William Turner

Commentary on ‘Erminia and Valfrino Tending the Wounded Tancred after the Battle with Argante’ and ‘Erminia, Guarding her Flock, Carving Tancred’s Name on a Tree’ by Pier Francesco Mola (Inscriptions by Turner)


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

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Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 128 × 114 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest LXXII 78 a

Catalogue entry

See folios 79 and 80 of this sketchbook (D04378, D04379) for Mola’s pictures illustrating Torquato Tasso’s Gerusalemme Liberata (1581), and Turner’s copies. Turner’s notes here read:
Two subjects from Tass Jerusalem | Dorinda and the death of Tancred – | T by far the best as to color and offering | fine parts. Some objection may be made | to the domestic being in Red, Tancred Blue and | Erminia [Finberg: Emilia] in yellow. But yet are united by colour | when consider’d abstractedly but glow | upon the final view. The yellow streak | of light above the Blue mountain is overstated | and the Blue too vivid yet upon the whole | it is a good ton’d and brilliant picture | painted upon a Ground of little value as | the paint is loaded. The Dorinda as | good as to the effect but not happy in the tones, which are rather black and in | total want of half shadow and color. D is in yellow [Finberg: D --- yellow], the sheep after the yellow streak | in sky is the first and broadest light showing and not so grand in T but better handled.

David Blayney Brown
July 2005

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