Joseph Mallord William Turner

Naked Figures Wrestling or Engaged in Sexual Activity

c.1810

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: 115 x 187 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D18519
Turner Bequest CCX a 38

Catalogue entry

As discussed in the introduction, most of the drawings in this book are rapid figure studies, many of which are explicitly erotic; others may be similar in intent, but are difficult to make out, and may be of classical or biblical subjects. Here the figures may be wrestling or embracing, fortuitous prefiguring of one of Francis Bacon’s recurring ambivalent motifs, as seen in the central panel of his Triptych – August 1972 (Tate T03073).
Verso:
Blank

Matthew Imms
January 2012

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