Joseph Mallord William Turner

Study for ‘Isis’

1805

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Pen and ink on paper
Dimensions
Support: 150 x 258 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D05531
Turner Bequest XC 29

Catalogue entry

For the subject and related work see note to folio 3 of the sketchbook (D05494). This is one of various versions of the composition in the book, used for the painting of 1805–6 bought by the Earl of Egremont, known as The Thames at Weybridge (Tate T03872; displayed at Petworth House)1 but engraved as Isis for the Liber Studiorum. Noting that the picture’s ideal classicism forms a ‘perfect pendant’ to Narcissus and Echo (Tate T03869; displayed at Petworth House)2 also bought by Egremont, Martin Butlin has observed that in this drawing the composition is even closer in that instead of the peacock that Turner painted perching on an entablature, there is a reclining figure similar to those in the other picture.3

David Blayney Brown
August 2007

1
Butlin and Joll 1984, p.126 no.204 (pl.201).
2
Ibid., pp.41–3 no.53 (pl.63).
3
Butlin in Butlin, Luther and Warrell 1989, p.27.

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