Joseph Mallord William Turner

A Dark Interior, with Figures ?Peering into a Curtained Bed


Not on display

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Watercolour on paper
Support: 79 × 101 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXCI c 37

Catalogue entry

Inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation, the setting appears to be a darkened bedroom, with a bright light beyond the silhouetted door on the left; to the right, the washes probably indicate a curtained bed, as seen on many other pages of this book. At the centre the silhouettes of two figures seem to lean towards the bed, where there may be the perfunctory indication of the head of a figure reclining within. The subject on folio 38 verso (D28938) may show a different aspect of such a scene; compare also the apparently voyeuristic subject on folio 32 verso (D28926).
For a discussion of the improvisatory and often erotic nature of the watercolour studies making up most of this sketchbook, see the Introduction.
Technical notes:
The unaccessioned, blank recto is numbered in red ink ‘37’ and stamped ‘CCXCI(c) – 37’; it bears very slight watercolour offsetting from folio 36 verso (D28934). There is slight offsetting from the present page at the gutter and elsewhere on the unaccessioned recto of folio 38 opposite (its verso being D28938).

Matthew Imms
May 2014

Read full Catalogue entry


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