Joseph Mallord William Turner

Dancing and Kneeling or Seated Nymphs, Related to ‘Apullia in Search of Appullus’


Not on display

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 88 × 113 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXXXV 65 a

Catalogue entry

The woman on the right of this group, raising a veil or scarf over her head, and the one to her right with her right hand above her shoulder were recognisably incorporated as the flanking figures of the main group in Turner’s mythological painting Apullia in Search of Appullus (Tate N00495), exhibited at the British Institution in 1814;1 they also relate quite closely to the two young women in Claude Lorrain’s Jacob with Laban and his Daughters, then in the collection of Turner’s patron Lord Egremont (Petworth House, Sussex),2 which was the provocatively close source of Turner’s composition. Whether Turner had access to the Egremont picture during the gestation of his variation is not established; at this stage at least he appears to have been working from memory.3
For related studies on adjacent pages, see under folio 63 verso (D09976).4 The present drawing continues a little way onto folio 66 recto opposite, with seated or kneeling figures (D09981).
Butlin and Joll 1984, pp.91–2 no.128, pl.134.
See ibid., p.92 and pl.567.
See Kathleen Nicholson, ‘Turner’s “Appulia in Search of Appulus” and the Dialectics of Landscape Tradition’, Burlington Magazine, vol.122, October 1980, p.683 note 22.
See also Butlin, Wilson and Gage 1974, p.76; Butlin and Joll 1984, p.92; and Butlin 2001, p.8.
Technical notes:
A small, circled spot of foxing at the bottom right shows through from the recto (D09979).

Matthew Imms
April 2014

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