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ID number:  BIRBI-39.14
Institution:  The Barber Institute of Fine Arts
Artist / Maker:  Turner, Joseph Mallord William (1775-1851)
Title / Object name:  Isis
Object type:  Print
Place made:  London
Culture:  British
Date made:  1819
Materials:  Etching, with mezzotint by W. Say
Measurements:  209 x 300 mm
Provenance:  Purchased from Messrs. John Grant Ltd., 1939, purchased with 17 other prints for £173

This image is highly reminiscent of Claude Lorrain and belongs to the elusive 'E.P.' category. It was published in the fourteenth and final installment of the Liber Studiorum series. The ruins in the foreground create a strong sense of an idealised ancient setting, transcending the landscape of the Thames. As indicated by the inscription, this print is after a painting belonging to the Earl of Egremont, a major patron of the artist. This was 'The Thames at Weybridge' (c.1807-10, Tate). The image was retitled for the Liber Studiorum with the name of a celebrated Egyptian deity, creating a past for England which is not her own. 'Isis' combines Turner's love of architecture and antiquity, which can be seen in the contrast between the classical foreground and the distinctly English countryside on the opposite bank of the river. The pavillion in the centre alludes to the temple at Tivoli in the Roman Campagna, and reflects landscape gardening in the picturesque style that was the contemporary fashion.

Inscriptions / Translations:  Drawn and Etched by J. M. W. Turner, esq.

1 Related People

Turner, Joseph Mallord William
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