Joseph Mallord William Turner

Study of the Fighting Gladiator


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

Chalk on paper
Support: 614 x 493 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest V S

Catalogue entry

There is a slight study of the forearm and hand at the upper right; also some chalk trials. Another study of this figure in this series is Tate D00070 (Turner Bequest V R). See also note to Tate D00196 (Turner Bequest XVIII A). The upper torso and head are offset on to Tate D00058 (Turner Bequest V E).
Technical notes:
Peter Bower points out that this irregular sheet is a rare early example of a coloured wove paper. He reads the watermark as ‘Coupialin’, corresponding to no known papermaker, while mentioning the famous French makers Courtalin. Although the watermark is perhaps slightly damaged, it can indeed be read as ‘Courtalin’, a mill near Paris active in the late 1780s and early 1790s.

Andrew Wilton
April 2012

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