Joseph Mallord William Turner

?A Curtained Bed, with a Man and Woman Embracing

c.1834–6

Not on display

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite and watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 79 × 101 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D28896
Turner Bequest CCXCI c 17

Catalogue entry

Inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation, a man on all fours is embraced by a reclining woman, probably in the shadowy interior of a curtained bed. He is washed in with a dark tone against the white paper where the woman’s form is articulated by rough pencil work; in a space left by accident or design above the oval of her face there are loose pencil indications of an elaborately tall hairstyle or headdress.
For a discussion of the improvisatory and often erotic nature of the watercolour studies making up most of this sketchbook, see the Introduction.
The unaccessioned, blank recto is numbered in red ink ‘17’ and stamped ‘CCXCI(c) – 17’.

Matthew Imms
May 2014

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