Joseph Mallord William Turner

Study of the Vatican Meleager


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Chalk and gouache on paper
Support: 416 × 256 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest V I

Display caption

Turner began his formal artistic education in 1789 when, at the age of fourteen, he became a student at the Royal Academy schools. All students were required to spend at least the first three years drawing from plaster casts of famous classical statues. They were then
allowed to graduate to the Life Class.


This is one of the studies Turner made during his time at the Plaster Academy. It was drawn from a cast of a marble statue in the Vatican. Meleager was a Greek hero and a member of the crew of
Jason's famous ship, the Argo.


Gallery label, September 2004

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Catalogue entry

As Finberg observed, the famous group in the Vatican Museum, Rome is copied here without the dog and boar’s head which form part of it. The drawing is technically close to the study of the Venus de’ Medici in this series (Tate D00060; Turner Bequest V G). Another drawing of the Meleager is Tate D00061 (Turner Bequest V H).
The verso is D40215.
Technical notes:
The grey-buff paper is a wrapping paper, which Peter Bower suggests may be the same as that on which Tate D00063 (Turner Bequest V K) from this series is drawn.

Andrew Wilton
April 2012

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