Joseph Mallord William Turner

Study for a Wooded Classical Landscape Subject with Figures

c.1823–4

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 111 × 190 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D17777
Turner Bequest CCIV 3

Catalogue entry

This appears to be an imaginative composition for a scene from ancient history or myth. As Finberg noted, there is a ‘classical portico’ in the middle distance, with hills beyond and possibly to the right, while a jagged leaning form may indicate coastal rocks across a bay. There appear to be seated figures among the trees in the foreground, and the overall effect is loosely comparable with that of Turner’s large oil painting The Bay of Baiae, with Apollo and the Sybil, exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1823 (Tate N00505).1
There are several sketches of this kind between folios 1 verso (D17774), under which the sequence is discussed, and 7 verso (D17782). The present composition is briefly continued to the left on folio 2 verso (D17776).
1
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984, pp.139–40 no.230, pl.233 (colour).
Verso:
Blank

Matthew Imms
November 2014

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