Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Skeleton of an Animal

c.1806–10

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

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Chalk and graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 128 x 201 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D05622
Turner Bequest XCI 5

Catalogue entry

According to John Ruskin, this sketch of a skeleton and another on folio 6 of the sketchbook (D05623) were ‘used in the “Liber Studiorum” plate of the “Devil’s Bridge”’ – that is, Little Devil’s Bridge ... engraved by Charles Turner in 1809 (for Turner’s drawing for it, see Tate D08123; Turner Bequest CXVI V). However, the resemblance is probably coincidental and, in the context of the sketchbook, the most likely subject is the remains of a sheep on the Downs or Romney Marsh.
The paper is discoloured from exposure.
Verso:
Blank, but inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘185’; traces of paper from a former mount, with red ink marks, are stuck to this side of the leaf.

David Blayney Brown
March 2011

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