Aesacus and Hesperie

Frank Sir Short, 1896

WAG 4522

About this object

For another mezzotint after this Turner 'Liber Studiorum' subject (L S 66) but published during Turner's lifetime, on 1 January 1819, see WAG 4505.
Turner intended the 'Liber Studiorum' to consist of 100 prints but only 71 were released during his lifetime. He did continue to work on potential prints for the 'Liber' after he had finished publishing the series. A number of related unfinished drawings and plates were found in his studio after his death.

The engraver Sir Frank Short (1857-1945) copied a selection of Turner's original 'Liber' prints as a student. He later engraved plates based on Turner's unfinished designs for the 'Liber'. This print, 'Aesacus and Hesperie', was made by Short in 1896 based on one of the original prints.

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.

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)
    Sir Frank Short (British, born:19 June 1857, died:22 April 1945)
  • Date
  • Materials
    Mezzotint; Paper
  • Measurements
    image: 17.8 cm x 25.7 cm
  • Physical description
    Hesperie is drying her hair by a river surrounded by dense woodland and foliage. Aesacus approaches hidden behind a tree trunk on the right.
  • Related people
    Sir Frank Short (Artist/maker); Joseph Mallord William Turner (Designed by)
  • Other number(s)
    WAG Inventory Number: 4522
  • Credit line
    Purchased by the Walker Art Gallery in 1898
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Collection
    From the Walker Art Gallery collections


Item inscriptions

  • Inscription text: Symbol
    Inscription method: Imprinted
    Inscription note:
    Inscription location: On Plate
  • Inscription text: Frank Short
    Inscription method: Pencil
    Inscription note:
    Inscription location: Front; Lower right
  • Inscription text: 1896
    Inscription method:
    Inscription note:
    Inscription location:
Object view = Fine Art
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