Joseph Mallord William Turner
A Kneeling Male Nude with Upraised Head and Arm in a Landscape Setting c.1794–5

Artwork details

Artist
Title
A Kneeling Male Nude with Upraised Head and Arm in a Landscape Setting
Date c.1794–5
Medium Chalk on paper
Dimensions Support: 463 x 292 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D00197
Turner Bequest XVIII B
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Catalogue entry

The pose is apparently based on one of the Niobids in the famous Hellenistic group in the Uffizi Gallery, Florence. Richard Wilson (1713–1782) used the group in his famous painting of The Destruction of the Children of Niobe, exhibited at the Society of Artists in 1760 and published by John Boydell as an engraving by William Woollett in 1761; Turner seems to have borrowed a figure from this work for his own picture of The Destruction of Sodom, possibly exhibited in 1805 (Tate N00474);1 see the study in the Calais Pier sketchbook (Tate D04932; Turner Bequest LXXXI 31).
There is an offset of this drawing on Tate D00198 (Turner Bequest XVIII C).
1
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984, p.44 no.56, pl.66.
Verso:
Blank; inscribed, in a modern hand in pencil ‘1’.

Andrew Wilton
April 2012

About this artwork