Joseph Mallord William Turner

A Group of Figures; a Tower

c.1830

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 98 x 76 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D35784
Turner Bequest CCCLXIII 14 a

Catalogue entry

With the page turned vertically, Turner has made a rapid study of figures, apparently a woman in a bonnet and possibly children seen from the back. The circumstances are unclear, unless the radiating lines below represent the deck or hull framework of a boat, although other features there suggest a separate landscape sketch. The significance of the square tower at the top right is also uncertain, as is the reading of the scrawled works above, which perhaps indicate a place name.
There are other groups of figures on folio 15 recto opposite (D35785), and across folios 28 verso–29 recto (D35807–D35808; Turner Bequest CCCLXIII 27v–28); Finberg though the latter were passengers ‘on board a packet’.1

Matthew Imms
September 2016

1
Finberg 1909, II, p.1178.

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