Inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation, this is probably a study for the projected composition of the mythical ‘Death of Adonis’; compare folio 27 verso (D04954; Turner Bequest LXXXI 52). Although no finished version of the subject appeared, there exists a small oil sketch of it in a very different format (Tate N05493).1
For a fuller discussion of Turner’s treatment of the Adonis theme see under folio 26 verso (D04952; Turner Bequest LXXXI 50), which has a more fully worked out idea for the picture. It shows clearly the influence of Titian’s painting of The Death of Peter Martyr, which Turner saw and commented on at the Louvre in Paris in 1802; see his Studies in the Louvre sketchbook (Tate D04306–D04308; Turner Bequest LXXII 27a–28, 28a).
Butlin and Joll 1984, p.115 no.151, pl.157.