Turner often stayed at Petworth, the house in Sussex belonging to his patron the Earl of Egremont. He had free run of its art collections and was given the Old Library to use as a studio. Life at Petworth was grand and bohemian. Working for himself rather than his patron, Turner made a series of small studies in gouache on blue or tinted paper recording the rooms, their furnishings and the unconventional social life that filled them. In studies like this, made at night, by artificial light or behind drawn curtains, these gatherings seem intimate, mysterious and fluid.
Gallery label, October 2013
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