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Technique and condition
This sheet is a white wove paper made using a double-faced mould. There is no watermark but Bower believes the maker is probably Whatman. The sheet has been hot pressed and very heavily sized.1 The bottom and top edges have been very unevenly cut and there is a considerable amount of surface dirt on both the recto and verso. In places the chalk has been abraded and some has been lost.
This is an early drawing in black chalk completed by Turner when he was a teenaged student at the Royal Academy. The drawing is tentative and has none of the fluidity of later works.
Peter Bower, ‘Turner’s Papers: A Catalogue of the Papers Used by J.M.W. Turner in the Turner Bequest, Clore Gallery, Tate Gallery. Part 1: 1787–1802: TB I–TB LXX’, 1994, Tate catalogue files, unpaginated.
The fourth-century BC statue of Meleager is usually attributed to the Greek sculptor Skopas; the marble copy in the Vatican Museum, Rome dates from the first century AD. The use of tone to model form is relatively sophisticated in this drawing. Areas of chalk have been rubbed, possibly wetted and brushed on, to suggest the use of wash. Another study of the Meleager is Tate D00062 (Turner Bequest V I).
The edges of the sheet are irregularly trimmed.
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