Joseph Mallord William Turner

A Nude Seated Woman, with her Head in her Hand

c.1833

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: 176 x 155 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D33940
Turner Bequest CCCXLI 229

Catalogue entry

Ian Warrell has described this drawing, Tate D33939, D33941 and D33969 (Turner Bequest CCCXLI 228, 230, 254) as ‘Four pencil studies of models’, dating them to about 1833, when Turner visited central Europe and Venice, both on the basis of the paper being similar to sheets used then for topographical views; he also observes that the arrangement of the model’s hair ‘recalls the Italian fashions’ of that period.1
It seems likely that three of them show the same woman, although it is unclear whether the figure seen from the back in D33941 is male or female. Here the woman sits in a frank posture with her legs slightly crossed and leans on one elbow, her clothing restricted to a shawl or scarf around her upper arms.
1
Warrell 2003, p.25.
Technical notes:
Finberg described the media as ‘Pencil and white chalk’,1 although the latter is not now evident. The sheet was once folded horizontally.
1
Finberg 1909, II, p.1075.
Verso:
Blank; slight staining, possibly water damage from the 1928 Tate Gallery flood.

Matthew Imms
September 2016

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