Joseph Mallord William Turner

Two Sketches of the ‘Sleeping Hermaphrodite’ in the Uffizi, Florence

1819

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

Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 113 x 189 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D16640
Turner Bequest CXCI 91 a

Catalogue entry

Cecilia Powell has identified the subject of these two studies as the Sleeping Hermaphrodite, a classical sculpture which Turner saw in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.1 The artist has made two variant views of the back of the statue, a Roman copy of an original Greek bronze. Further sketches of antique sculpture can be seen on folios 34 verso and 91 (D16549 and D16639), whilst a copy of a painting by Claude, also in the Uffizi, can be found on folio 60 (D16585). Turner also made an extensive study of statuary in the Capitoline Museums in Rome, see the Vatican Fragments sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest CLXXX).

Nicola Moorby
February 2011

1
Powell 1984, p.431 and Powell 1987, p.51.

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