- Museum number
Tracing, after William Dyce's design for the Royal Academy's Turner Medal; Leah and Rachel in a scene from Dante's Purgatorio, a quotation from which is inscribed at the bottom of the image, with a separate sketch of a mother and child below
- Production date
Height: 180 millimetres
Width: 249 millimetres (irregular)
- Curator's comments
- This tracing is of Dyce's design for the reverse of the Royal Academy's Turner Medal, which Dyce executed in 1858. The Turner Medal was established by the RA in 1857 and given biennially as a prize for the best landscape. Dyce's design depicts the biblical figures of Leah and Rachel, commonly interpreted as symbolic of the active and contemplative lives respectively, in a scene derived from Dante's 'Purgatorio'. Lindsay Errington has argued that the relevance of such a subject to Turner resides in Ruskin's interpretation of the artist as put forward in the third volume of 'Modern Painters' . However, Dyce's design for the Turner Medal was rejected in favour of one by Daniel Maclise. A finished drawing by Dyce for the reverse of the medal, executed in pencil, chalk and charcoal over gouache on paper, is in the collection of the Royal Academy; in this, there is a more developed landscape background and the inscription runs along the top of the medal.
Literature: Marcia Pointon, 'William Dyce, 1806-1864: A Critical Biography', 1979
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- This item has an uncertain or incomplete provenance for the years 1933-45. The British Museum welcomes information and assistance in the investigation and clarification of the provenance of all works during that era.
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number