Joseph Mallord William Turner

?A Curtained Bed with a Naked Woman

c.1834–6

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

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
D28900
Turner Bequest CCXCI c 19

Catalogue entry

The slight wash compositions on adjacent versos generally appear to be inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation, but in this case the dark area suggests the interior of a bed with a curtain hanging across at the top right. The pale shape at the left may be a naked woman sitting with her arms raised, as there seem to be one or two touches of grey defining her breasts, although this reading may be fortuitous.
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:
There is a slight continuation or offsetting of watercolour onto the unaccessioned recto of folio 20 (its verso being D28902). The unaccessioned, blank recto of the present leaf is numbered in red ink ‘19’ and stamped ‘CCXCI(c) – 19’; it has a little watercolour offsetting at the gutter from folio 18 verso opposite (D28898).

Matthew Imms
May 2014

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