Joseph Mallord William Turner

Study of the Jason

?1791–2

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Chalk, gouache and watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 425 x 267 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D00055
Turner Bequest V B

Catalogue entry

The so-called Jason is a subject executed in bronze in the fourth century BC, usually attributed to Lysippos. It is known today in three Roman marble copies (in the Louvre, Paris, the Glyptothek, Munich and the Ny Carlsberg Glyptothek, Copenhagen); it was identified as portraying Jason by J.J. Winckelmann (1717–1768), but also as Hermes (Mercury) and as an unnamed athlete. The motif of the hero tying his sandal is thought to allude to Jason’s losing his sandal while crossing a river in his search for the Golden Fleece. Turner took up the story in a painting, Jason, which he sent to the Royal Academy in 1802 (Tate N00471).1
1
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984, p.18 no.10, pl.15.
Technical notes:
The slightly irregular sheet is stained and torn in three places.
Verso:
Blank

Andrew Wilton
April 2012

Read full Catalogue entry

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