Joseph Mallord William Turner

Commentary on Giorgione/Titian’s ‘Concert-champêtre’ (Inscription by Turner)


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
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 57 a

Catalogue entry

For Turner’s copy of this picture see folios 56 verso, 57 of this sketchbook (D04347, D04348), and especially the note to the former for Haskell’s supposition that Turner was embarrassed by its display of nudity. Haskell also noted Turner’s idea that the figures were ‘Spanish’. Consciously or not, Turner used the traditional description of the picture rather than its newer title of ‘Concert-champêtre’.
Turner’s commentary reads:
A Pastoral Subject by Titian | Not so fortunate as to the costume as in | other pictures as there are Spanish figures | with two naked females one of which | is charmingly colour’d and graceful | getting water with a lilac robe falling | to the knees. It is a little Brown in the | shadow compared with the [Finberg: his] Mistress but | the management of the whole is like but | better the Pastoral subject of the Duke of | B – but the Cupid exceeds this as to | colour.
Of Turner’s comparisons, the first is to the so-called ‘Titian’s Mistress’, A Woman with a Mirror, which he had copied and described on folios 24, 23 verso and 25 of this sketchbook (D04300, D04301). The second, as Finberg surmised, is to the Allegory of the Three Ages of Man then in the collection of the Duke of Bridgewater (Duke of Sutherland; on loan to the National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh).
There is a fold-mark across the top right corner of this leaf.

David Blayney Brown
July 2005

Read full Catalogue entry

You might like