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From Spenser's Fairy Queen (Liber Studiorum, part VII, plate 36)

Artist:
Designed and etched by Joseph Mallord William Turner (British, London 1775–1851 London)
Engraver:
Thomas Hodgetts (British, active 1801–46)
Publisher:
Joseph Mallord William Turner (British, London 1775–1851 London)
Date:
June 1811
Medium:
Etching and mezzotint; first state of four
Dimensions:
plate: 7 3/16 x 10 3/8 in. (18.3 x 26.4 cm) sheet: 8 1/4 x 11 7/16 in. (21 x 29.1 cm)
Classification:
Prints
Credit Line:
Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1928
Accession Number:
28.97.36
Not on view
Turner distilled his ideas about landscape In "Liber Studiorum" (Latin for Book of Studies), a series of seventy prints plus a frontispiece published between 1807 and 1819.To establish the compositions, he made brown watercolor drawings, then etched outlines onto copper plates. Professional engravers usually developed the tone under Turner's direction, and Hodgetts here added mezzotint to detail a subject inspired by Spenser's epic poem "The Faerie Queene" (1590-96). An armored figure, whose shield identifies him as the Redcrosse Knight, sits dejecteded on a rocky mountainside ledge near blasted trees. The image likely relates to lines in Book I where the knight succumbs briefly to the influence of Despayre (Despair) after being abandoned by a companion. The letter "H" in the upper margin places the work within Turner's category of Historical landscape, and the dark moody vista echoes Salvator Rosa.
Signature: in plate: "Drawn & Etched by T.M.W. Turner Esq-r R.A. / Engraved by T. Hodgetts"

Inscription: below image: "From Spenser's Fairy Queen / Published June 1811, by T.M.W. Turner, Queen Ann Street West"
Vendor: P. & D. Colnaghi & Co.
Finberg 36 i/iv; Rawlinson 36 i/iii
William George Rawlinson Turner's Liber Studiorum: A Description and A Catalogue. Macmillan & Co., 2nd ed. London, 1906, cat. no. 36 i/iii, p. 89.

Alexander Joseph Finberg The History of Turner's Liber Studiorum, with a new catalogue raisonné. Ernest Benn Limited, London, 1924, cat. no. 36 i/iv, pp. 142-4.

Gillian Forrester Turner's 'Drawing Book': The Liber Studiorum, exh. cat., London, Tate Gallery, 20 February–2 June. London, 1996, illustrates: related watercolor, ca. 1807-8 (Tate Britain), and first published state, 1811, cat. no. 36, p. 96.



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