Object Image

The Bay of Baiae, with Apollo and the Sibyl

Turner has used Baiae, in the Bay of Naples, as the backdrop here. In an ancient Greek myth, the priestess Cumaean Sibyl asks the god Apollo to let her live for as many years as the grains of sand she could hold in her hand. However, as she did not ask for eternal youth she faded away until only her voice remained. Turner's landscape reflects the theme of her story. Time has changed the Roman architecture, but the beauty of the natural landscape remains.

Credit: Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856 ...
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exhibited 1823
Oil paint on canvas
1454.0 x 2375.0mm
Image and text © Tate Britain, 2022

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Tate Britain
Permanent collection