Joseph Mallord William Turner

A Woman’s Head and Shoulders; the Eleanor Cross, Hardingstone


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 110 × 68 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXL 71

Catalogue entry

There are three sketches here, all made with the page turned vertically. The rapid study of a woman turning towards the viewer with bare neck and shoulders, possibly wearing a bonnet or hat, occupies the central register, and was probably made before the landscape studies which appear to have been fitted in above and below. For other figure studies in this sketchbook, see under folio 1 verso (D22324).
The top sketch of trees, possibly with a low structure to the right, is effectively unidentifiable, but it may be in the vicinity of the Eleanor Cross at Hardingstone, near Northampton, shown flanked by trees in the slightly more substantial drawing at the bottom, which appears to be inscribed with an ‘H’ followed by a couple of letters, possibly an abbreviation of the place name. There are other sketches around the cross on folios 23 verso and 24 recto and verso (D22364–D22366).

Matthew Imms
August 2013

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