Joseph Mallord William Turner

Figures, Possibly on a Beach


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

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Chalk and graphite on paper
Support: 70 x 166 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCCLV 7 a

Catalogue entry

Turner has produced this drawing with the page turned horizontally. The sketch depicts roughly drawn figures with only the most basic suggestion of their posture and orientation. Isolated patches of scribbled hatching surround them, perhaps representing initial sketches of forms consequently crossed out by Turner. The most developed of the figures is the person to the far left of the page who carries a long object, seemingly supporting the weight of it against a shoulder. Only the briefest suggestion of topography has been sketched in.
Technical notes:
There are areas of pale red towards the bottom right of the page which extend onto folio 8 recto (D35348), perhaps colour tests or some sort of reaction with the paper surface. The paper appears to have been rubbed in some places, leaving it a little buckled. There is intermittent black spotting. Two edges of the sheet are irregular; one seems to have been folded and torn.

Alice Rylance-Watson
February 2013

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