Joseph Mallord William Turner

Two Studies: A Man with his Hand to his Forehead and a Woman Looking Down; a Man in Armour


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Chalk on paper
Support: 436 × 271 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest LXXXI 1

Catalogue entry

The subject of the more substantial of these two slight sketches is uncertain. It may be derived from a picture or print by another artist, as the faint framing line round it might suggest, and recurs in a modified form, and considerably more worked up, on folios 21 verso–22 recto (D04942–D04943; Turner Bequest LXXXI 40a–41). The inference must be that this is an idea for a picture of Turner’s own, making use of large–scale half–length figures in the manner of certain Renaissance artists, Lorenzo Lotto (c.1480–1556/7) or Titian (active about 1506–died 1576) for example.
The other sketch seems to show a soldier of the type found in prints by Salvator Rosa (1615–1673), posed similarly to the figure on folio 4 recto (D04908; Turner Bequest LXXXI 7), which appears to relate to the painting Jason that Turner showed at the Royal Academy in 1802 (Tate N00471).1
The page is inscribed at the top by the Executors of the Turner Bequest, Henry Scott Trimmer, Charles Turner, John Prescott Knight and Charles Lock Eastlake, in ink ‘No 222 | 80 Sketches in sepia India Ink | H.S. Trimmer | C Turner’ and in pencil ‘JPK’ and ‘C.L.E.’.
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984, p.18 no.19, pl.15.
Technical notes:
There are colour trials scattered across the page.

Andrew Wilton
May 2013

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