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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Study of the Jason ?1791-2

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Study of the Jason ?1791–2
Turner Bequest V B
Pencil with black and white chalks and stump on laid buff paper, 425 x 267 mm
Inscribed in red ink ‘V B’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘V B’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
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
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.

Andrew Wilton
April 2012

How to cite

Andrew Wilton, ‘Study of the Jason ?1791–2 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, April 2012, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, December 2012, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-study-of-the-jason-r1140259, accessed 15 July 2019.