Woman and Tambourine

WAG 4476


This print, 'Woman and Tambourine', is plate 3 of Turner's 'Liber Studiorum' series. It is an example of the 'Elevated (or epic) Pastoral' category of landscape painting. It was published with the 1st part of the series on 20 January 1807. Turner included an additional sub-category within the ‘pastoral’ genre of landscape art. The ‘elevated (or epic) pastoral’ was signified by the letters ‘EP’. ‘Elevated pastoral’ pictures had grander compositions than those of the simpler ‘pastoral’ prints. They were influenced in composition and subject by the work of Claude Lorrain (1604/5 – 1682). These works used classical imagery like the figures in the foreground, similar to those in Turner’s oil painting Linlithgow Palace displayed nearby, to suggest a vision of Arcadia. 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.