Object Image

Regulus was a Roman general who was captured by the Carthaginians. They sent him back to Rome to negotiate the release of Carthaginian prisoners. When he returned to Carthage having failed his mission, he was tortured by being left out in the sun with his eyelids sewn open. The dazzling light in the centre of this work dramatically illustrates Regulus' cruel punishment. Turner first exhibited this painting in Rome in 1828. His audience there would have recognised it as a seaport from a work by the 17th-century painter, Claude Lorrain displayed in the Uffizzi gallery in Florence. It appears that Turner wanted to show himself as part of a tradition of landscape painting started by Claude.

Credi...

1828, reworked 1837
Oil paint on canvas
895.0 x 1238.0mm
N00519
Image and text © Tate Britain, 2022

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Tate Britain
Permanent collection