Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Pantheon, the Morning after the Fire


Not on display

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite and watercolour on paper
Support: 395 x 515 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest IX A

Technique and condition

This is an accurate graphite pencil drawing on white paper. Turner used both freehand sketching and ruling in this work. The stone blocks were lightly ruled first in graphite pencil and the figures were added into spaces left for them while the blocks were being drawn. The glazing bars have been ruled in watercolour. A narrow range of colour mixes has been used, e.g. vermillion and brown ochre has been used for the bricks. A fox-brown lake pigment similar to the several brownish-red madder lakes on an iron-based substrate found among Turner's studio pigments can be recognised by analysis. The studio pigments were redder in appearance than this, which indicates that it has faded. A yellow lake pigment is present too, a material also likely to fade on light exposure. Such colour losses may be responsible for the large number of white areas seen in the costumes today.

Helen Evans
October 2008

Revised by Joyce Townsend
January 2011

Catalogue entry

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