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