Joseph Mallord William Turner, R.A. London 1775-1851
JOHN AND ANNA JAFFÉ - A EUROPEAN FAMILY In the middle of the eighteenth century, members of the Jaffé and the Gluge family left Germany to settle in Northern Ireland, Belgium and France. Daniel Jaffé, John Jaffé's father, came from Mecklenburg to Belfast where John became President of the Belfast Chamber of Commerce in 1883. John's brother, Sir Otto Jaffé, after spending twelve years in New York for his business, became Lord Mayor of Belfast in 1899, the first non-Protestant mayor of that city. Meanwhile, Gottlieb Gluge, Anna's father, a Berlin physician, had moved to Brussels, bringing with him what is traditionally regarded as the first microscope to enter that country. He became a member of the Académie Royale des Sciences, Professor of the Brussels Free University and Doctor of the King of Belgium. His daughter, Anna Emilie, married John Jaffé in 1873. Anna persuaded her husband to choose Nice for their residence - along with other homes in Monte Carlo and Neufchatel where they entertained among other friends the Queen of Belgium - and they settled for the next fifty years in the Villa Jaffé, 38 Promenade des Anglais (fig. 1). There they became well-known figures of the English circle in Nice that was such a feature in that town in the 1890s and especially close friends of their neighbours the Massénas, Prince of Essling. This is when Anna met writers such as Henry James and Marcel Proust. John Jaffé, who the London times described as 'a complete Niçois' received for his Diamond Wedding anniversary congratulations to him and his wife from King George V and Queen Mary. The contents of the Villa Jaffé were those of a small museum. Alongside a remarkable collection of Old Masters were sculptures, medals, books, furniture, and other objects of art. Anna had given John, who had already started collecting British Art, a taste for Dutch paintings. Amongst the splendors of the painting collection was a Francesco Guardi, The Grand Canal Venice with the Palazzo Bembo, sold by Christie's London on 5 July 2005 and today in the Getty Museum Malibu (fig. 2), a splendid full length Portrait of Manuel Garcia de la Prada by Goya (Des Moines Museum, Iowa) and Turner's Glaucus and Scylla. Many of the paintings in the collection were, like the Turner, purchased in Paris through the dealer Charles Sedelmeyer, sometimes with the advice of Willem von Bode in Berlin. In Nice, John and Anna were amongst the main patrons of the Musée Masséna in Nice, the former villa of their friends, the Massénas and regularly lent to exhibitions, such as in 1934, 'Les Anglais dans le comté de Nice', a show devoted to British art to which the Jaffé lent works by Gainsborough, Constable, John Opie, and Turner. In 1933, as a gesture of gratefulness for France and to celebrate their Diamond wedding anniversary, John and Anna purchased Napoleon and Marie-Louise's library, then on sale in Austria, to donate to the Musée de Malmaison. This generous gift was largely commented on in the press at the time. In 1934, John and Anna were granted by the mayor of Nice, in the name of France, the Croix de Chevalier de la légion d'Honneur. These happy years came to an end with what John called in his will 'sadly changing circumstances through which we are passing' meaning the rise of National Socialism in Germany. Indeed, John and Anna followed with increasing anxiety their families' former country's political situation, in particular through Anna's nephew, Gustave Cohen. The latter, severely wounded at the battle of Verdun, was the creator of the Maison Descartes in Amsterdam and a professor of medieval literature at Strasbourg University and later at the Sorbonne. He would regularly visit Germany even after 1933. Cohen was a friend of the writers Paul Valery and Jean Giraudoux and hosted Heinrich Mann and other German refugees in Paris and in the Alps. After John's death in 1934, Anna decided to bequeath her belongings to her three nephews. Sadly that wonderful woman, who had chosen to stay in the Côte d'Azur, was trapped there by the war and died in Nice on the 7th March 1942 (notably Anna was still lending paintings to the Musée Masséna for their exhibition 'La Mère et l'enfant' in 1942). Her niece, Alice, and her nephew were in the occupied zone of France; Theophile was arrested by the Nazis and sent to Auschwitz were he died. Her third nephew, Gustave Cohen, had left for New York where he created the French École Libre des hautes études and later joined the General de Gaulle in Algiers and in London. In July 1943 the pro-Nazi regime of Vichy seized the Villa Jaffé and its contents which were sold at auction as 'Jewish property'. The contents of the Villa, more than 60 paintings and hundreds of works of art, were sold between July and November 1943 in the Hotel Savoy in Nice and many works were taken away by the Nazis (the Guardi had been chosen for Hitler's Museum in Linz). It took more than sixty years for John and Anna Jaffé's heirs to recover some of the paintings. A first sale was held at Christie's in London in July 2005. The Heirs of John and Anna Jaffé. PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF JOHN AND ANNA JAFFÉ
Joseph Mallord William Turner, R.A. London 1775-1851

Glaucus and Scylla

Joseph Mallord William Turner, R.A. London 1775-1851
Glaucus and Scylla
oil on panel
30 7/8 x 30½ in. 78.3 x 77.5 cm.
Benjamin Godfrey Windus (1790-1867), by whom purchased at the Royal Academy Exhibition in 1841; Christie's, London, 20 June 1853, lot 40 (bought in at £735).
Christie's, London, 19 July 1862, lot 58 (£294 to [Thomas] Rought).
Louis Huth, Esq.; Christie's, London, 2 March 1872, lot 73 (£535 to Arthur Tooth and Sons, London).
José de Murrieta, Marquis de Santurce; Christie's, London, 7 April 1883, lot 171 (bought in at £570).
Sir Horatio Davies, Lord Mayor of London, Watcombe Hall, Torquay, until 1901.
Charles Sedelmeyer (1837-1925), Sedelmeyer Gallery, Paris, by 1902.
John Jaffé (d. 1933) and his wife Anna Jaffé (d. 1942), Nice, 1902/3-1942; sale, 'Collections John Jaffé', ordered by the Commissariat aux questions juives de L'Etat Français, Hôtel Savoy, Nice, 12-3 July 1943, lot 121 (28,000 FF).
Emile Leitz, Paris, until 1956, from whom purchased by
Agnew's, London.
with Howard Young Galleries, New York, 1957.
Mrs. Chamberlain, until 1966.
with Newhouse Galleries, Inc., New York, from where purchased by Kimbell Art Foundation, Fort Worth, in 1966.
Restituted to the heirs of Anna Jaffé in 2006.
J. Burnet and P. Cunningham, Turner and his Works, London, 1852, p. 119, no. 214.
W. Thornbury, The Life of J.M.W. Turner, R.A., London, 1862, p. 399.
W. Thornbury, The Life of J.M.W. Turner, R.A., II, London, 1877, pp. 170, 579 and 597.
C.F. Bell, A List of the Works contributed to Public Exhibitions by J.M.W. Turner, R.A., London, 1901, p. 143, no. 230.
Sir W. Armstrong, Turner, London, 1902, pp. 147 and 222.
Exhibition catalogue, Catalogue of 100 Paintings by Old Masters, Paris, Sedelmeyer Gallery, 1902, no. 99, illustrated.
Exhibition catalogue, Les Amis du Musée Masséna, Les anglais dans le comté de Nice et en Provence-L'art anglais au Musée Masséna, Nice, 1934, p. 224.
A.J. Finberg, The Life of J.M.W. Turner, R.A., Oxford, 1961, pp. 385 and 506, no. 544.
J. Rothenstein and M. Butlin, Turner, London, 1964, p. 70.
Museum catalogue, Kimbell Art Foundation, Ft. Worth, 1972, pp. 168-70, illustrated.
M.B. Wallace, 'J.M.W. Turner's Circular, Octagonal and Square Paintings 1840-1846', Arts Magazine, LV, April 1979, pp. 111-12, pl. 9.
A. Wilton, The Life and Work of J.M.W. Turner, London, 1979, p. 395, pl. 286.
E. Joll and M. Butlin, L'opera completa di Turner 1830-1851, Milan, 1982, pp. 209-10, no. 465, pl. LXXXIV.
M. Butlin and E. Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, second edition, New Haven and London, 1984, pp. 244-5, no. 395, pl. 399.
J. McCoubrey, 'War and Peace in 1842: Turner, Haydon and Wilkie', Turner Studies, Winter 1984, 4, no. 2, p. 2.
J. Gage, J.M.W. Turner: A Wonderful Range of Mind, New Haven, 1987, p. 140.
A. Wilton, Turner in his Time, New York, 1987, pp. 230 and 242.
S. Whittingham, 'The Turner Collector: B.G. Windus', Turner Studies, Winter 1987, 7, no. 2, pp. 30, 32, 41 and 35.
K. Nicholson, 'Style as meaning: Turner's Late Mythological Landscapes', Turner Studies, Winter 1988, 8, no. 2, p. 46.
London, Royal Academy, 1841, no. 542.
London, Royal Academy, Bicentenary Exhibition 1768-1968, December 1968-March 1969, no. 166.
Nice, Musée Masséna, Les anglais sur la Riviera, February-April 1934, no. 355.
Paris, Grand Palais, J.M.W. Turner, October 1983-January 1984, no. 65.
Williamstown, Massachusetts, Sterling and Francine Clark Institute, Turner: The Late Seascapes, 14 June-7 September 2003.

Lot Essay

The art critic of The Spectator wrote on 8th May 1841 about the present visionary work, Glaucus and Scylla and its pendant, The Dawn of Christianity (Flight into Egypt) in a review of the Royal Academy exhibition of 1841:

'His two circular studies of a warm and cool effect are brilliant rondos of harmony in prismatic hues.'

Turner exhibited six works at the Academy of 1841: three Venetian subjects, including Giudecca, La Donna della Salute and San Giorgio (fig. 1; sold, Christie's, New York, 6 April 2006, lot 97, $35,856,000) and three other landscapes with varying subjects including the present work, Glaucus and Scylla.

Turner often sought in his late works to go beyond the mere observation of nature by including historical or mythological subjects within his landscapes as moral lessons in emulation of his idol, Claude. The subject of the present work, Glaucus and Scylla derives from Ovid's Metamorphoses (xii, 895-967). Glaucus was a fisherman from Anthedon in Boectria, the son of Neptune and Nais. Observing that the fish which he caught appeared to come to life when laid on the ground and leap back into the water, he concluded that this was caused by magic in the grass. Tasting some, he was himself compelled to leap into the sea, whereupon he was made a sea deity. He fell in love with Scylla, daughter of Typhon, who spurned his advances - in Greek mythology Scylla is the daughter of Phorcys and either Hecate (goddess of the wilderness and childbirth), Crataeis (a nymph), Lamia or Ceto (a personification of the sea, unknown terrors and bizarre creatures). Glaucus sought help from Circe, daughter of the sun, who was celebrated for her knowledge of magic potions. Circe, however, fell in love with Glaucus herself and when he spurned her advances, she took terrible revenge on Scylla by poisoning the waters in which she bathed. As a result Scylla was transformed into a seamonster conformed of barking dogs and a serpent. In despair Scylla threw herself into the water between Sicily and Italy and was transformed into rocks, attracting sailors passing nearby to their deaths. Turner has painted the moment when Scylla recoils from the advances of Glaucus. The artist alludes to Scylla's ultimate fate with the two red outcroppings aglow on the distant horizon. Circe is depicted as an explosion of sunset light.

The dramatic visual effects of light and water that Turner so superbly captures in the present work bring to mind two verses from Samuel Taylor Coleridge's The Rime of the Ancient Mariner of 1797-9:

The very deep did rot: O Christ!
That ever this should be!
Yea, slimy things did crawl with legs
Upon the slimy sea.

About, about, in reel and rout,
The death-fires danced at night;
The water, like a witch's oils,
Burnt green, and blue and white.

Turner had in fact treated the subject of Glaucus and Scylla earlier in an engraving for the Liber Studiorum which was never published although there is a drawing for it in the Vaughan bequest in the British Museum. Although not an especially popular subject from Greek mythology, the story of Glaucus and Scylla was treated by a number of earlier artists including Salvator Rosa (Brussels Museum) and Laurent de la Hyre (J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles). In the 1983-4 Paris exhibition catalogue John Gage draws attention to the similarities in general composition between Glaucus and War (fig. 2; The Tate Gallery, London), which Turner exhibited at the Royal Academy the following year in 1842 and also specifically in the crustacea in the foreground. He also suggests that in reverting in Glaucus to a subject from the Liber Studiorum, Turner may already have had in mind the series of Liber subjects he was to paint in the mid-1840s.
Between 1840 and 1846 Turner experimented with different shaped compositions on square canvases or panels, a format which he may well have developed from his vignettes drawn as book illustrations in the 1820s. Turner in fact framed three of these supports as tondos and the next four in octagonal frames, and some were painted with one format in mind and then framed differently. Glaucus and Scylla for example was conceived and painted as a square composition and then later framed as a tondo. Given the artist's fondness for puns, it has been suggested that the round shape is intended to suggest a 'turning' wheel, like that of the goddess Fortune, and hence to allude to his own name, as a sort of self-portraiture by proxy. In her article, Marcia Briggs Wallace (op. cit., April 1979, pp. 111-2), points to the influence of Raphael's celebrated tondo, Madonna della Sedia, which forms a centerpiece to Turner's Rome from the Vatican of 1820, and points to the artist's 'affinity for Raphael's centralized designs'.

The earliest of these square canvases was Bacchus and Ariadne (fig. 3; Tate Gallery, London), in a Royal Academy exhibit of 1840 which formed part of the Turner bequest. This work shows a clear debt to Titian and its strong Venetian influence and similarity to The Dawn of Christianity (Flight into Egypt) (fig. 4; The Ulster Museum, Belfast) have led to the suggestion that it, rather than Glaucus and Scylla was conceived as the pair to Dawn of Christianity. They both provide evidence of Turner's reawakened interest in the Venetian school in general and Titian in particular, an interest that had been rekindled by his visit to Venice in the autumn of 1840. However, it would seem beyond doubt that Glaucus and Scylla and Dawn of Christianity were conceived as pendants. They were exhibited at the Royal Academy in the same year and in the same room, and they remained together for some thirty years. Furthermore, they were both displayed as tondos and are, therefore, amongst the first several pairs of paintings giving a contrast effect of hot and cold colors.

The intended connection between the two subjects has never been satisfactorily explained. One tentative theory is that both works are a meditation on beauty and serenity where mortal dangers are hidden, represented by the snake in the Dawn of Christianity and the deadly sun of Circe in Glaucus and Scylla. It could also allude to the illusory nature of beauty with Scylla in the stunning evening light about to be transformed into a monster, linked by the sun and sea, a central theme in Turner's art. However, the two compositions appear to have been deliberately matched or paired but that notwithstanding, Glaucus and Scylla, considered purely as a landscape, epitomizes the visionary realm of swirling molten colors that was Turner's final and greatest legacy as an artist and one that heralds Impressionism.

The three non-Venetian subjects that Turner exhibited at the Academy of 1841, Schloss Rosenau (Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool), Dawn of Christianity and Glaucus and Scylla were largely savaged by the critics. The Athenaeum of 5 June described them as 'the fruits of a diseased eye and a reckless hand'. Blackwood's Magazine for September, after commenting generally that 'There is not a picture of his in this year's exhibition that is not more than ridiculous' went on to state 'Can anything be more laughable, in spite of regrets than No. 542? - where the miserable doll Cupids are stripping off poor Scylla's clothes; yet there is no chance of indecent exposure, for there is certainly no flesh under them'.


The far-sighted purchaser of Glaucus and Scylla at the Royal Academy of 1841 was Benjamin Godfrey Windus of Tottenham in North London, a major patron of the artist, who by 1839 owned over two hundred drawings and watercolors by Turner. Windus came from a family of coachmakers and in about 1830 inherited a cottage at Tottenham from his father to which he added several rooms, notably a library where much of his collection was displayed. Windus began to collect oil paintings by Turner after 1840, and owned six major paintings by the artist, including another later contrasting pair of paintings, Going to the Ball and Returning from the Ball (private collection). Windus was generous in his willingness to show his collection to interested parties. Turner's obituary in The Gentleman's Magazine (February 1852) is fulsome in its praise of Windus, 'But it is at Mr. Windus's on Tottenham-Green that Turner is on his throne. There he may be studied, understood and admired - not in half-a-dozen or twenty instances but in scores of choice examples'. Turner's great apologist, John Ruskin, wrote in Praeteria, 'Nobody in all England at that time cared in the true sense of the word, for Turner but the retired coachmaker of Tottenham and I'.

This lack of comprehension of Turner's late visionary work in England at the time goes some way to explaining why Glaucus and Scylla failed to sell at auction in 1853 before being purchased in 1862 by Thomas Rought of 17 Regent Street, a well-respected dealer who purchased many of Turner's finest works, notably for the great collector Joseph Gillot. Rought had a fine eye for paintings and contemporaries considered that he was 'not only a good judge, but was truly fond of good art-work' (quoted by Neal Solly in Memoir of the Life of W.J. Muller, 1875, p. 95). Rought sold Glaucus and Scylla to Louis Huth, one of three remarkable sons of Frederick Huth, a German emigrant banker. Louis's eldest brother Charles was an important collector of nineteenth-century paintings and owned Constable's Stratford Mill, and his brother Henry was a noted bibliophile. Louis himself had more progressive taste, forming a major collection of modern paintings and decorative arts. He was a friend of Rossetti, Watts and Whistler and was an enthusiastic supporter of the Aesthetic movement. Possingworth, his impressive mansion in Sussex, was completed in 1868 and had a substantial picture gallery. It is fitting that Huth should have owned one of Turner's late visionary works. Glaucus and Scylla was sold in Huth's sale in 1872 for £535.10 to the London dealers Arthur Tooth and Sons. It subsequently passed to the noted anglophile, Don José Murrieta, later first Marquis de Santurce, who was born in London and died there in 1877. His collection included works by Crome, Cox and de Wint, as well as important works by Alma Tadema.

In 1902/3, Glaucus and Scylla was purchased from the Sedelmeyer Gallery in Paris by John Jaffé and joined that distinguished collection. When exhibited at the Musée Masséna in Nice in 1934, it was one of the stars of the exhibition, the catalogue noting, 'Tout le tableau n'est qu'une apothéose de la lumière triomphante. Comme on comprehend le grand amour de génial artiste pour les jeux de lumière et son adoration pour le soleil!'


Glaucus and Scylla is painted on a rectangular wooden panel unlike its probable pendant, The Dawn of Christianity, which is executed on canvas. It is unclear whether the composition of Glaucus and Scylla was always conceived to be framed as a tondo, as has been traditionally thought. Interestingly, the corners of the composition are far more resolved than one would expect if the composition had always been intended to be presented as a tondo from conception. Evidence for it being framed as a tondo at the Royal Academy of 1841 comes from the previously quoted critic who writes about the 'two circular brilliant rondos of harmony in prismatic hues'. The previous frame, however, dated from at least the time of the Sedelmeyer Gallery exhibition of 1902 (fig. 5).

Recent infrared photography undertaken during conservation at the Kimbell has revealed a fascinating pencil inscription on top of the gesso preparation layer but underneath the paint surface at the lower left corner which appears to have been written by the artist's panel maker or colourman:

'I am afraid that after all the delay that there is a crack in this part of the panel it shouldn't prevent your painting [?quality to] ground it is not the gesso for it has there every coat - but if you like I can get a canvas done by the Monday in the same' (fig. 6; www. - Conservation Information).

Turner's decision to go-ahead and use this panel support, albeit one with a small crack, rather than a canvas has undoubtedly helped preserve Glaucus and Scylla which is in exceptionally good condition for a late work by the artist. Not only has it escaped any flattening of the paint surface in the relining process but also the subsequent problems caused by Turner's experimentation with pigments and media. The artist was largely self-taught in the use of oil paint, and his techniques, particularly towards the end of his career, were extremely unorthodox. Not only did he experiment with newly available pigments, such as chrome and lemon yellows, but he also mixed in a variety of unconventional media including wax, fat, megilp, and resins. These admixtures could make his paintings particularly susceptible to the heat used in lining process, as well as to overcleaning. The pearling seen on the surface of Glaucus and Scylla could indicate the use of watercolor on top of oil, which was an effect with which he was experimenting at this time. Not only do these delicate layers of glazes survive but the condition of the paint surface is remarkable, enabling us to appreciate the dazzling and subtle effects of luminosity for which his work is so prized and which today still appear so revolutionary.

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