Joseph Mallord William Turner

Figures ?in Flanders


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 118 × 78 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXVI 256 a

Catalogue entry

This leaf has been used to record an array of figure studies, each annotated with notes describing the colour and styles of dress. The drawings and notes were produced with the sketchbook turned upside down. Of the few legible words inscribed amongst these swiftly dashed-off annotations, colours like ‘Black’, ‘Blue’ and ‘White’ can be made out, as well as the note ‘Blue Cap’ and ‘[...] Carrying Milk’ next to a sketch of a figure carrying a shoulder yoke. At top left Turner has drawn a woman wearing a traditional Dutch bonnet with triangular folds at the sides. This hat may indicate that Turner’s location is somewhere in Flanders. There is also a man on horse back, carrying bundles at either side of his saddle. Another horse follows behind him, with a cargo of what appear to be pots and jugs. A further man on horseback is recorded at centre, wearing boots and a tall hat.

Alice Rylance-Watson
June 2014

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