At second glance, it becomes clear that the clearly defined nude woman reclining with her leg drawn up is not alone, and that she and a male companion are engaged in sexual activity. Ian Warrell has described the subject as ‘little more than a day dream’, comparing the perfunctory, focused anatomical treatment to the subsidiary study in the rather earlier Tate D40020 (Turner Bequest CCCLXV A).1 Compare also Tate D08342 (Turner Bequest CXXII 37) in the Finance sketchbook and Tate D27447 (Turner Bequest CCLXXIX a 45a) in the Life Class (1) book.
Warrell suggests that the present drawing, on a rough scrap of coarse paper likely manufactured in the late 1820s (see the technical notes), was perhaps made during one of Turner’s Continental tours between 1833 and 1840, accounting for the German inscription in another hand mentioning Basel in Switzerland.2
Blank; inscribed in pencil ‘pfo no 95’ centre left.
- symbols and personifications(7,285)