Joseph Mallord William Turner

?A Man Carrying a Woman on his Shoulder

c.1810

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

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 115 x 187 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D18501
Turner Bequest CCX a 20

Catalogue entry

As discussed in the introduction, most of the drawings in this book are rapid figure studies, many of which are explicitly erotic; others may be similar in intent, but are difficult to make out, and may be of classical or biblical subjects. This one appears to show a heavily muscled male figure in motion, carrying what is probably a female figure on his shoulder, perhaps evoking the ‘rape of the Sabine women’ episode from the legendary early history of Rome, or one of the amorous episodes related in Ovid’s Metamorphoses from the repertoire of the Old Masters.
Verso:
Blank

Matthew Imms
January 2012

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