Joseph Mallord William Turner

Verses (Inscription by Turner)

c.1816

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 155 x 95 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D10423
Turner Bequest CXL 7 a

Catalogue entry

Not transcribed by Finberg, Turner’s verses can be partly read as follows:
To unoffending Carthage offered still
The peaceful olive but insidiously twined
Around its branches by the insidious asp
Down and when concession urged that sap
Strength [surrendering up her children and her arms inserted]
Unconscious of the guilt
& hate ...
The body mother in the feeling conflict
Straddling ...her only care
Offering to her breast...
See notes to folio 4 (D10416) for verse in this sketchbook related to The Decline of the Carthaginian Empire (Tate N00499)1 exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1817, and the historical background to the subject.

David Blayney Brown
July 2011

1
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed. 1984, pp.100–1 no.135 (pl.137).

Read full Catalogue entry

You might like