Joseph Mallord William Turner

Studies of Italian Figures


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 161 × 101 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXX 68

Catalogue entry

This page contains studies of seven figures drawn from life. Although the rough nature of the sketches makes the details difficult to decipher, they appear to include a man and a woman wearing fine clothes, and a couple of fishermen sitting on a boat. Further figure studies within this sketchbook can be found on the inner front cover and on folios 6 verso, 14 verso, 15 verso, 33 verso, 64, 80, 80 verso, 82 and 82 verso (D40619, D15114, D15130, D15132, D15167, D15223, D15245, D15246, D15249 and D15250; Turner Bequest CLXXX 5a, 13a, 14a, 32a, 63, 79, 79a, 81 and 81a).
Blank, however, the page has been prepared with a grey wash in readiness for further use. Peter Bower has noted that there are eight such leaves bound into this sketchbook, although the only one which has been worked upon is folio 71 verso (D15231, Turner Bequest CLXXX 70a). All the washed pages come from a single sheet of trimmed white wove Whatman paper.1

Nicola Moorby
November 2009

Peter Bower, Turner’s Papers: A Study of the Manufacture, Selection and Use of his Drawing Papers 1787–1820, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London 1990, p.115.

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