J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Study for 'Apollo and Python' c.1799-1805

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 35 Verso:
Study for ‘Apollo and Python’ c.1799–1805
Turner Bequest LXXXI 68
Black and white chalks with pen and brown ink on blue laid paper, 271 x 436 mm
Watermarks ‘1794’ and Strasburg lily
Inscribed above, in pen and brown ink ‘Death of Python – Apollo’
Stamped in black ‘LXXXI–68’ bottom right, ascending vertically
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner did not exhibit his painting of Apollo and Python at the Royal Academy until 1811 (Tate N00488).1 Here, with the page turned horizontally, the enclosed, brooding setting inspired by Salvator Rosa (1615–1673) is fully imagined, though it was to undergo major modifications before reaching its final form, as was the serpent itself. Apollo himself does not appear here, though Turner sketched a figure that may be an idea for him on folio 36 recto opposite (D04971; Turner Bequest LXXXI 69).

Andrew Wilton
May 2013

Butlin and Joll 1984, p.82 no.115, pl.119.

How to cite

Andrew Wilton, ‘Study for ‘Apollo and Python’ c.1799–1805 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, May 2013, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, April 2016, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-study-for-apollo-and-python-r1178174, accessed 23 January 2022.