This is one of a series of academy studies from the nude model in this book, and was presumably drawn from a pose at the Royal Academy’s Life School. A male nude in a very similar attitude occurs in a study by Thomas Stothard (1755–1834) in the Royal Academy collection (RA 05/3123), and another of Stothard’s studies seems to show the same model and pose from a different viewpoint (RA 3091). Stothard was a visitor to the Schools in 1799, 1800, 1803 and 1804; see also folio 8 recto (D04916; Turner Bequest LXXXI 15).
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984, p.18 no.19, pl.15.