Joseph Mallord William Turner, Published on 23 April 1812

WAG 4449

About this object

This print, 'Rispah', is plate 46 of Turner's 'Liber Studiorum' series. It is an example of the Historical category of landscape painting. It was published with the 9th part of the series on 23 April 1812.

The 'Liber Studiorum' illustrated Turner’s arguments for the supremacy of landscape painting. The title means ‘book of studies’ in Latin. It contained no written text, instead it was made up of individual mezzotint prints on paper. They were released in fourteen parts from around 1807 until 1819. Turner intended the 'Liber' to consist of 100 prints but only 71 were ultimately produced.

The prints reflected the five categories of landscape painting Turner believed existed: architectural, historical, marine, mountainous and pastoral. Turner wrote an initial on each work to indicate which category it belonged to.

Object specifics

  • Artist(s)
    Robert Dunkarton (British: English, born:1744, died:No record after 1811)
    Joseph Mallord William Turner (British: English, born:probably 23 April 1775, died:19 December 1851)
  • Date
    Published on 23 April 1812
  • Materials
    Mezzotint; Paper
  • Measurements
    image: 18.1 cm x 26.4 cm
  • Physical description
    The female veiled biblical figure of Rispah (2nd Book of Samuel Chapter 21) sits on the riverbank holding a lighted torch over the bodies of her children. A wild beast approaches from the right. There are trees on the left and the moon in the sky.
  • Related people
    Robert Dunkarton (Artist/maker, engraver); Joseph Mallord William Turner (Artist/maker)
  • Other number(s)
    WAG Inventory Number: 4449
  • Credit line
    Purchased by the Walker Art Gallery in 1874
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Collection
    From the Walker Art Gallery collections


Item inscriptions

  • Inscription text: H
    Inscription method: Printed
    Inscription note:
    Inscription location: Above plate
  • Inscription text: April 23 1812
    Inscription method:
    Inscription note:
    Inscription location:
Object view = Fine Art
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