J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Study of the Fighting Gladiator ?1793

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Study of the Fighting Gladiator ?1793
Turner Bequest V S
Black and some white chalk on buff wove paper, 580 x 457 mm
Watermarked ‘COURTALIN’
Stamped in black ‘V S’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
There is a slight study of the forearm and hand at the upper right; also some chalk trials. Another study of this figure in this series is Tate D00070 (Turner Bequest V R). See also note to Tate D00196 (Turner Bequest XVIII A). The upper torso and head are offset on to Tate D00058 (Turner Bequest V E).
Technical notes:
Peter Bower points out that this irregular sheet is a rare early example of a coloured wove paper. He reads the watermark as ‘Coupialin’, corresponding to no known papermaker, while mentioning the famous French makers Courtalin. Although the watermark is perhaps slightly damaged, it can indeed be read as ‘Courtalin’, a mill near Paris active in the late 1780s and early 1790s.

Andrew Wilton
April 2012

How to cite

Andrew Wilton, ‘Study of the Fighting Gladiator ?1793 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, April 2012, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, December 2012, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-study-of-the-fighting-gladiator-r1140271, accessed 19 April 2018.