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The pose of Turner’s model in this study is close to that of a figure studied by Henry Fuseli (1741–1825) in a drawing dated by him ‘Acad Nov 1796’ (British Museum, London, 1916,0419.3). Turner’s drawing, however, does not seem to be a reworking of Fuseli’s subject, which partakes of its author’s characteristic fantasy.
The present drawing has every appearance of having been made at the Royal Academy Life Class, and on stylistic grounds can surely not be dated earlier than the rest of this book. Possibly Fuseli inscribed his own drawing a considerable time afterwards and misremembered the date. His model differs in several important respects from Turner’s and it is more than likely that he embellished his subject from his imagination. He was a visitor at the Life Class in 1796, 1798, 1799 and 1801, of which the last two are most consistent with the dating of Turner’s sketchbook. The compiler is grateful to Royal Academy curator Annette Wickham for help with this entry.
Blank, prepared with a red-brown ground.