Joseph Mallord William Turner

Three Figures in a Darkened Room: A Recollection of Petworth (?)


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

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Gouache, graphite and watercolour on paper
Support: 131 x 227 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCCLXIV 392

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Turner often stayed at Petworth, the house in Sussex belonging to his patron the Earl of Egremont. He had free run of its art collections and was given the Old Library to use as a studio. Life at Petworth was grand and bohemian. Working for himself rather than his patron, Turner made a series of small studies in gouache on blue or tinted paper recording the rooms, their furnishings and the unconventional social life that filled them. In studies like this, made at night, by artificial light or behind drawn curtains, these gatherings seem intimate, mysterious and fluid.

Gallery label, October 2013

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