Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Head of a Figure Looking Down

c.1799–1805

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Chalk on paper
Dimensions
Support: 436 x 271 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D04949
Turner Bequest LXXXI 47

Catalogue entry

This unfinished sketch is perhaps an idea for the Virgin in a ‘Holy Family’ or, as the slightly open mouth indicating astonishment suggests, for a shepherd in adoration; see under folios 17 verso and 23 verso (D04935, D04946; Turner Bequest LXXXI 34, 44), and compare the incomplete sketch on folio 26 recto (D04951; Turner Bequest LXXXI 49).

Andrew Wilton
May 2013

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