Joseph Mallord William Turner

A Standing Male Figure with Arms Supported in a Loop above his Head; a Landscape Beyond

c.1796–7

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Chalk on paper
Dimensions
Support: 489 x 299 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D00204
Turner Bequest XVIII I

Catalogue entry

The loop of cloth or leather in which the figure has placed his wrist was commonly used in life schools to enable the model to maintain otherwise exhausting poses. It is possible that the figure in Tate D00202 (Turner Bequest XVIII G) was similarly assisted, though the loop is not drawn.
There is an offset of this drawing on Tate D00064 (Turner Bequest V L).
Technical notes:
Peter Bower1 explains the watermark as a combination of three continental marks, including that of Lubertus van Gerrevinck, which would have been used together on high quality papers; Gerrevinck’s mark was used later in the eighteenth century by English makers including James Whatman the elder. The presence of these marks here probably indicates that a mould discarded by another mill was being used.
1
TS note in Tate catalogue files.
Verso:
Blank; stamped in brown ink with Turner Bequest monogram; inscribed in pencil ‘6’.

Andrew Wilton
April 2012

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