Fifth Plague of Egypt

Joseph Mallord William Turner, 1808-06-10 published

WAG 4488

About this object

This print, 'Fifth Plague of Egypt', is plate 16 of Turner's 'Liber Studiorum' series. It is an example of the 'Historical' category of landscape painting. It was published with the 3rd part of the series on 10 June 1808.

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)
    Charles Turner (British, born:1774-07-31, died:1857-08-01)
    Joseph Mallord William Turner (British: English, born:1775-05-23 probably, died:1851-12-19)
  • Date
    1808-06-10 published
  • Materials
    Mezzotint; Paper
  • Measurements
    image: 18 cm x 25.8 cm
  • Physical description
    In the distance pyramids are highlighted by flashes of lightning through a shadow of a heavy cloud. Fires and smoke are visible across the landscape. In the foreground, beside a small pool of water lies a dead horse and rider with two figures nearby on the right, one standing one kneeling.
  • Related people
    Charles Turner (Artist/maker, engraver) ; Joseph Mallord William Turner (Artist/maker)
  • Other number(s)
    WAG Inventory Number: 4488
  • 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: The 5th Plague of Egypt the Picture late in the possession of W. Beckforn Esq. (below plate) Proof (bottom left)
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  • Inscription text: (JUNE 10, 1808)
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  • Inscription text: H (above plate)
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Object view = Fine Art
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