Joseph Mallord William TurnerA Classical Head; Buildings ?1797

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Artwork details

A Classical Head; Buildings
Date ?1797
MediumGraphite on paper
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest XXXII A v
View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Catalogue entry

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
A Classical Head; Buildings ?1797
Pencil on white laid paper, 327 x 201 mm
Watermark ‘ER 179[?4]’
Inscribed by Turner in brush and blue colour ‘61’ centre, descending vertically
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
These two slight drawings, not mentioned in Finberg’s 1909 Turner Bequest catalogue,1 are in a controlled Neo-classical style unlike Turner’s usual manner. However, they are probably his work rather than that of a pupil, and may relate to the studies of classical heads and other subjects that he occasionally made at this period. Compare for instance the helmeted heads on Tate D00721 (Turner Bequest XXIX P), and for the technique the head (apparently of Christ) on Tate D41450 (Turner Bequest CCCLXXIX 3 v).
The recto is D00857 (Turner Bequest XXXII A).

Andrew Wilton
April 2012

See A.J. Finberg, A Complete Inventory of the Drawings of the Turner Bequest, London 1909, vol.I, p.64.

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