View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms
Ian Warrell has linked Tate D33942–D33945 (Turner Bequest CCCXLI 231, 231v, 232, 232v) as ‘Studies of a female nude on grey paper’, connecting them to similar small, divided-up sheets used in Austria in 1833. He compares the use of red and white chalks to the technique of a sequence of studies of a male nude in the Life Class (2) sketchbook of the later 1830s1 (Tate D27482–D27513; Turner Bequest CCLXXIX b 2–33).
This is the most overtly erotic of the four studies noted initially. Warrell describes the ‘blushing pink tone of female flesh ... created with a smear of gouache. Turner’s viewpoint ... is especially lewd, giving emphasis to the darkness of the woman’s vagina’.2 The hazy white marks around the figure suggest bedclothes; compare the treatment of the figure in Tate D32236 (Turner Bequest CCCXVIII 17), a bedroom scene associated with Turner’s time in Venice in 1840.3
Blank; inscribed in pencil ‘cccxli – 232a’ bottom right.