Joseph Mallord William Turner

A Cow Lying Down and the Head of a Cow in Profile

c.1807–14

View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 69 x 112 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D08291
Turner Bequest CXXII 6

Catalogue entry

A cow (or perhaps a calf) occupies the middle of the page, seen from the side lying down with its head turned towards the artist. The head and neck of the same or a similar animal in profile appear above on a slightly larger scale, almost overlapping with the back of the central study. There is a related sketch, showing a head and front quarters, on folio 7 recto (D08293). Ian Warrell has remarked upon the ‘remarkable frequency’ of such studies in Turner’s early sketchbooks.1

Matthew Imms
September 2013

1
Ian Warrell in Warrell, Blandine Chavanne and Michael Kitson, Turner et le Lorrain, exhibition catalogue, Musée des beaux-arts, Nancy 2002, p.186, listing numerous examples.

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