Possibly William Wethered [d. 1863], King's Lynn, Norfolk, and, by 1849, London. John Chapman [1810-1877], Hill End, Cheshire, and Carlecotes, Yorkshire, by 1852; by descent to his son, Edward Chapman [1839-1906]. (Arthur J. Sulley & Co.), London, in joint ownership with (Thos. Agnew & Co.), London; purchased 1912 from (Arthur J. Sulley & Co.), New York, by Watson B. Dickerman [1846-1923]; passed to his wife, Florence E. Dickerman, New York; gift to NGA, 1951.
- Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1839, no. 360, with Ovid's Metam. (appended to the title).
- Art Treasures of the United Kingdom: Paintings by Modern Masters, Art Treasures Palace, Manchester, 1857, no. 191, as Pluto Carrying Away Prosperine.
- Royal Jubilee Exhibition, Fine Arts Galleries, Manchester, 1887, no. 609.
- Loan Collection of Pictures, Corporation of London Art Gallery, Guildhall, 1892, no. 112.
- Works by the Old Masters, and by Deceased Masters of the British School. Winter Exhibition, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1896, no. 28.
- Pictures and Drawings by J.M.W. Turner, R.A., and a Selection of Pictures by Some of His Conemporaries, Corporation of London Art Gallery, Guildhall, 1899, no. 35.
- Paintings Lent by George John Chapman, Esq. and the Executors of the Late Edward Chapman, Esq., City of Manchester Art Gallery, 1908, no. 020.
- Paintings by Thomas Gainsborough, R.A. and J.M.W. Turner, R.A., M. Knoedler & Co., Inc., New York, 1914, no. 37.
The medium-weight canvas is very tightly plain woven; it has been lined. Because of the thickness of the paint it has not been possible to determine the color or composition of the ground. The painting is executed very freely and fluidly in a low to medium impasto, with thinner glazes and scumbles in a few areas of the sky. Some diagonal scraping in the underpaint before it had completely dried to create an atmospheric effect, and some palette- knife type application have also been used in parts of the sky. There is a disfiguring craquelure in the dark layer of underpaint in the foreground and middle ground, probably caused by bitumen. The paint layer has been somewhat flattened during lining. There is retouching along all the edges and in the craquelure, but there are no major paint losses and there is no severe abrasion. The thick, extremely uneven layer of natural resin varnish has discolored yellow to a significant degree.
- Art-Union 1 (15 May 1839): 69.
- Athenaeum 602 (11 May 1839): 357.
- Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine 46 (September 1839): 313.
- Fraser's Magazine 19 (19 June 1839): 744.
- Spectator 12, no. 567 (11 May 1839): 447.
- Ruskin, John. Modern Painters. 5 vols. London, 1843-1856, 1 (3d ed., 1846): 129-130. The Works of John Ruskin. Edited by E.T. Cook and Alexander Wedderburn. 39 vols. London and New York, 1903-1912: 3:242.
- Waagen, Gustav Friedrich. Galleries and Cabinets of Art in Great Britain: Being an Account of more than Forty Collections of Paintings, Drawings, Sculptures, Mss., &c.&c., visited in 1854 and 1856, ..., forming a supplemental volume to the "Treasures of Art in Great Britain." London, 1857: 419-420.
- Summary Catalogue of European Paintings and Sculpture. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1965: 133.
- European Paintings and Sculpture, Illustrations. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1968: 120, repro.
- European Paintings: An Illustrated Summary Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1975: 354, repro.
- Collected Correspondence of J.M.W. Turner. Edited by John Gage. Oxford, 1980: 297.
- Shanes, Eric. Review of The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner. by Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll 1972. In Turner Studies 1 (1981): 46.
- Butlin, Martin, and Evelyn Joll. The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner. 2 vols. New Haven and London, 1977 (2d rev. ed., 1984): 1: no. 380; 2: pl. 384.
- European Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1985: 406, repro.
- Hayes, John. British Paintings of the Sixteenth through Nineteenth Centuries. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, D.C., 1992: 280-283, repro. 281.
- Pergam, Elizabeth A. The Manchester Art Treasures Exhibition of 1857: Entrepreneurs, Connoisseurs and the Public. Farnham and Burlington, 2011: 69, 313.