View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms
These sketches may be imaginary heads, but it seems likely that they were drawn from a particular individual; a possible candidate is the artist Joseph Farington (1747–1821), with whom Turner had much to do while he was canvassing for his election first as an Associate of the Academy in 1799 and later as full Academician in 1802. His bald pate, beaky nose and determined mouth are captured in the profile portrait of him included in the 1795 painting by Henry Singleton (1766–1839) of The Royal Academicians in General Assembly (Royal Academy of Arts, London). It is a question whether either of these studies is to any extent a caricature.
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Attributed to Sir Nathaniel Dance-Holland Head of a Man in Profile to Left
date not known