The studies, drawn with the page turned horizontally and the gutter at the bottom, apparently relate to the composition sketched on folio 8 verso (D01476; Turner Bequest XL 8a). Compare also the foreground figures in The Fifth Plague of Egypt, exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1800 (Indianapolis Museum of Art).1 The left-hand male figure is reminiscent of the dead youth in the centre foreground of the famous painting of The Destruction of the Children of Niobe (Yale Center for British Art, New Haven) by Richard Wilson (1713–1782), engraved by William Woollett in 1761. The half-obliterated figure on the right is probably female.
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984, p.10–12 no.13, pl.10 (colour).