The exhibition was arranged in order that Turner’s great enterprise of the Liber Studiorum might be seen as a whole, his drawings with his etchings and the mezzotints engraved by Turner himself, Charles Turner and other engravers in the first state as finally approved by Turner.
Turner, spurred on by an artist friend, Mr W.F. Wells of Knockholt, to emulate Claude’s Liber Veritatis, began his sketches for the Liber Studiorum in 1806 and the publication of the plates went on irregularly from 1807 to 1809.
The Liber Studiorum coincides with the works of his early middle period, when he was pitting himself against Claude, Poussin and the Dutch painters.
A small collection of documents and relics connected with the Liber Studiorum and portraits of Turner were lent by Mr C. Mallord, Mr A. Acland Allen, Mrs J.E.T. Allen and the President and Council of the Royal Academy.