Painter/Artist: Joseph Mallord William Turner

British School. The greatest and most prolific of English landscape painters.


With the exception of those marked with an asterisk, these pictures are now at the Tate Gallery, Millbank. For convenience of reference their original numbers in the National Gallery Catalogue are here retained. The measurements are in inches.

THE PRINCE OF ORANGE (WILLIAM III) LANDING AT TORBAY NOVEMBER, 1688. Rough sea, grey sky with sun; foreground in shadow. In the centre the Prince standing in the royal barge; behind, a Dutch man-of-war saluting; the water covered with craft of all sizes.

Exhibited Royal Academy, 1832.

VENICE, CANALETTI PAINTING View of the Bridge of Sighs, the Ducal Palace, and the Dogana. This is Turner’s first exhibited picture of Venice.

Exhibited Royal Academy, 1833.

THE GOLDEN BOUGH (NOW at Dublin.) Lake Avernus is seen from a height in the middle distance; the bay of Baiae and Mount Vesuvius in the distance; to the left a temple on a height with pines; to the right a pine, and beneath it two figures reclining, a third to the left, standing in a pool, holds ” the golden bough ” from the legendary tree of Proscrpine.

Exhibited Royal Academy, 1834.

MOONLIGHT: A STUDY FROM MILLBANK This was the first oil-painting exhibited by Turner.

Exhibited Royal Academy, 1797.

THE TENTH PLAGUE OF EGYPT A city in a valley seen from a height; on a rocky plateau in the left foreground a group of figures mourning over a dead child.

Exhibited Royal Academy, 1802.

JASON IN SEARCH OF THE GOLDEN FLEECE The serpent, guardian of the fleece, has been charmed to sleep by Medea; Jason stealthily passes by the monster, of which only one gigantic coil shows from among the rocks and shattered trees about its cavern.

Exhibited Royal Academy, 1802.

CALAIS PIER A dark and stormy sky and sea. On the eastern jetty of the pier, to the right, are people cleaning fish, and fishermen are preparing to put to sea. The English packet, a cutter with dark sails, has just entered the harbour.

Exhibited Royal Academy, 1803.

THE DESTRUCTION OF SODOM Lot and his daughters are on the right leaving the burning city; his wife, as a pillar of salt, is behind them.

Painted about 1805.

THE GARDEN OF THE HESPERIDES The goddess of Discord, on the right, receives the golden ” apple of con tention ” from one of the daughters of Hesperus. The dragon which guards the garden lies along the summit of a rock in the middle distance. Exhibited British Institution, 1806.

THE SUN RISING THROUGH VAPOUR Fishing boats arriving and unloading on the shore at low tide, a guardship in the distance. This picture and No. 498 was bequeathed by Turner to the nation on condition that they should be hung between two paintings by Claude (Nos. 12 and 14).

Exhibited Royal Academy, 1807.

THE DEATH OF NELSON The Battle of Trafalgar as seen from the mizzen starboard shrouds of the “Victory.” To the right the “Redoubtable,” and beyond her the ” Temeraire ” and other ships. Nelson has been struck by a musket shot fired from the mast of the ” Redoubtable ” and carried down on the lower deck.

Exhibited British Institution, 1808.

Another picture o£ the same subject, painted about 1828, With considerable differences, is in the Painted Hall at Greenwich.

SPITIHEAD: BOAT’S CREW RECOVERING AN ANCHOR Rough sea. Men-of-war anchored in the roadstead, others bearing up for anchorage.

APOLLO KILLING THE PYTHON In the foreg round the python struggles amidst rocks and trees which it has crushed in its fall. To the left Apollo, who has transfixed it with darts, kneels in front of a boulder. Beyond, a valley and mountains. Exhibited Royal Academy, 1811.

HANNIBAL CROSSING THE ALPS A lurid sun is seen through a snow-storm which threatens to envelop the Carthaginian army. The sky is said to have been suggested by a thunderstorm at Farnley, near Leeds, of which Turner made notes at the time on the back of a letter, saying to his host: “In two years you will see this again, and call it Hannibal crossing the Alps.”

This is the first picture to which a quotation from “The Fallacies of Hope” is attached in the Royal Academy Catalogues. Apparently he used the title to cover any fragment of verse he wrote upon the subjects of his pictures.

Exhibited Royal Academy, 1812.


Carthage in the background; in front the Court in long procession prepared for the chase.

Exhibited Royal Academy, 1814.

This is the first of Turner’s Carthaginian subjects.

APPULIA IN SEARCH OF APPULUS A hilly landscape; in the middle distance a bridge of seven arches over a river with woody banks; a watermill and a town to the right. In the foreground are Appulia and her companions, and peasants reposing in the shade of a tree. The subject is the transformation of the Apulian shepherd Appulus (Ovid, ” Metamorphoses,” XIV.). The picture is directly founded on one of Claude’s at Bridgwater House.

Exhibited British Institute, 1814, when it won the premium for the best landscape of the year.

CROSSING THE BROOK From near Morwell Rocks and the Weir Head, looking south towards Plymouth, with Poulston Bridge above; Calstock in the middle distance, and Calstock Church beyond. In the left foreground is a bare-legged girl who has crossed the brook and calls to her dog, which is in mid-stream. On the bank to the right is another girl seated with a package by her side.

Exhibited Royal Academy, 1815.

DIDO BUILDING CARTHAGE River scene, with the sun in the centre; a bridge in front and piles of classic architecture completed and in progress on either side. Dido surrounded by her people on the left. On the right the monument to her murdered husband.

See No. 479. Turner refused to sell this picture, saying that he intended to be buried wrapped in it.

Exhibited Royal Academy, 1815.

THE FIELD OF WATERLOO In the foreground women searching by torchlight among the dead and dying. To the right the Chateau of Hougomont still burning; in the distance rocket signals.

Exhibited Royal Academy, 1818.

ENTRANCE OF THE MEUSE ORANGE MERCHANT ON THE BAR GOING TO PIECES. Rough showery weather. Boats are unloading the wreck, and fishermen picking up oranges in the river.

Exhibited Royal Academy, 1818.

RICHMOND HILL In the foreground a numerous party occupied in dancing and other pastimes in celebration of the Prince Regent’s birthday.

This is the largest picture painted by Turner.

Exhibited Royal Academy, 1819.

THE BAY OF BALE Apollo and the Cumaean Sibyl are seated to the left under tall pines. The castle of Baie is to the right, on the opposite side of the bay Pozzuoli.

Exhibited Royal Academy, 1823.

THE MORNING OF THE CARTHAGINIAN EMPIRE Dido directing the equipment of the fleet. A river scene, with piles of architecture on each side. The scene was perhaps suggested by the river Medina at Cowes.

Exhibited Royal Academy, 1828.

ULYSSES DERIDING POLYPHEMUS The splendid galley of Ulysses is putting off from the island (on the left) where the Cyclops Polyphemus sprawls on the top of a cliff. To the right are other galleys, between which and that of Ulysses is the gorgeous sunrise over the still sea.

Exhibited Royal Academy, 1829.

CALIGULA’S PALACE AND BRIDGE On the left the ruins of the palace at Pozzuoli, on the extreme right in the distance Baiae. Children sporting with goats in the foreground; the sun rising behind the ruin.

Exhibited Royal Academy, 1831.

VISION OF MEDEA Medea is performing an incantation; by her side are the three Fates. Painted and exhibited in Rome, 1828.

Royal Academy, 1831.

CHILDE HAROLD’S PILGRIMAGE, ITALY A mountainous landscape with a winding river. In the foreground a solitary pine and a party of pleasure seated on the river bank. The sun is setting behind the mountains.

“THE FIGHTING TEMERAIRE” On the right the sun is setting with effects of the utmost splendour over the still water; on the left the huge old ship of the line towed by a little black paddle-steamer to her last berth at Rotherhithe, where she was to be broken up.

Exhibited Royal Academy, 1839.

PEACE: BURIAL AT SEA In the centre a large steamship with sails dark against the sky. In a blaze of torchlight amidships the body (that of Sir David Wilkie) is being lowered into the calm sea. Evening sky, new moon on the right.

Exhibited Royal Academy, 1841.

SNOW-STORM STEAMBOAT OFF A HARBOUR’S MOUTH MAKING SIGNALS IN SHALLOW WATER AND GOING BY THE HEAD. The original title continues: “The author was in this storm on the night the `Ariel’ left Harwich.” Turner had himself bound to the mast to observe the scene, and when critics described the picture as ” soapsuds and whitewash,” he said he wished they had been in it.

Exhibited Royal Academy, 1842.

RAIN, STEAM, AND SPEED From the centre of a landscape veiled in light rainy mist a passenger train with open carriages full of people, drawn by a large black engine, approaches us along a high viaduct crossing a river.

Exhibited Royal Academy, 1844.

AENEAS RELATING HIS STORY TO DIDO Dido and AEneas in a magnificent barge on a river, attended by other barges; in the background a great city.

Exhibited Royal Academy, 1850.

This and the three following were the last pictures exhibited by Turner in the year before his death.

MERCURY SENT TO ADMONISH AENEAS The messenger of Jove alights on the great fragments of architecture outside a magnificent city by the sea; below, the harbour reflects the sun, high up in the sky.

THE DEPARTURE OF THE TROJAN FLEET The fleet glides through the mouth of the harbour of Carthage, flanked by towers; Dido and her attendants watch its departure.

THE VISIT To THE TOMB AEneas lifts his right hand towards the caryatides cut in a rock temple. Cupid, accompanied by doves, attends the Queen. The sun sets in an angry sky, casting a red glow over the city.