Joseph Mallord William Turner

A Curtained Bed, with a Naked Figure Reclining

c.1834–6

Not on display
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 79 x 101 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D28916
Turner Bequest CCXCI c 27

Catalogue entry

Inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation, the pale mass of a reclining figure is shown within a bed with its bright curtain and blue-striped bedclothes. The sex and anatomy of the figure are difficult to make out, although the full curves hint at a female torso, perhaps with the head to the left and the hip to the right; there are several finger marks where the artist has blended or lifted the wet washes.
For a discussion of the improvisatory and often erotic nature of the watercolour studies making up most of this sketchbook, see the Introduction.
Technical notes:
The unaccessioned, blank recto is numbered in red ink ‘27’ and stamped ‘CCXCI(c) – 27’; it bears slight watercolour offsetting from folio 26 verso (D28914).

Matthew Imms
May 2014

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