Joseph Mallord William Turner ?A Curtained Bed, with a Naked Couple Embracing c.1834–6

Artwork details

Artist
Title
?A Curtained Bed, with a Naked Couple Embracing
Date c.1834–6
Medium Watercolour and graphite on paper
Dimensions Support: 79 x 101 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D28892
Turner Bequest CCXCI c 15
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Catalogue entry

Inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation, the couple reaching out to embrace each other (within what may be a shadowy curtained bed) were first defined in a flurry of wash strokes, with occasional touches of pencil to articulate aspects of their outlines, including apparently the man’s genitals; compare folio 6 recto (D28879).
For a discussion of the improvisatory and often erotic nature of the watercolour studies making up most of this sketchbook, see the Introduction.
The unaccessioned, blank recto is numbered in red ink ‘15’ and stamped ‘CCXCI(c) – 15’.

Matthew Imms
May 2014

About this artwork