Frontispiece to the Liber Studiorum

Joseph Mallord William Turner, 1812-05-23 published

WAG 4450

About this object

This print, 'Frontispiece', is plate 1 of Turner's 'Liber Studiorum' series. It was published with the 10th part of the series on 23 May 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)
    Joseph Mallord William Turner (British: English, born:1775-05-23 probably, died:1851-12-19)
    J C Easling (British, born:unknown, died:unknown)
  • Date
    1812-05-23 published
  • Materials
    Mezzotint; Paper
  • Measurements
    image: 19 cm x 26.5 cm
  • Physical description
    The title 'Liber Studiorum' is displayed in capital letters at the top. Beneath is a framed picture of a costal view with (to the right)Europa being abducted across the sea by a bull (the 'Rape of Europa'). The frame is surrounded by architectural debris and a bird with a lengthy tail in the foreground. A multiple arcade of entwined Romanesque and Gothic-style arches fills the background.
  • Related people
    J C Easling (Artist/maker, engraver) ; Joseph Mallord William Turner (Artist/maker)
  • Other number(s)
    WAG Inventory Number: 4450
  • 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: May 23, 1812
    Inscription method:
    Inscription note:
    Inscription location:
Object view = Fine Art
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