Joseph Mallord William Turner

Two Women, Possibly Fishwives or Tradeswomen


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

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Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 185 × 110 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXXVII 30

Catalogue entry

Made with the page turned vertically, this study of two similar women (or the same figure in successive attitudes) with elaborate headgear, calf-length skirts and perhaps aprons, may show fishwives or other tradeswomen, observed at Portsmouth, perhaps among the crowd shown on folio 23 verso (D20768; Turner Bequest CCXXVII 23) or on the Isle of Wight (see under folio 2 recto; D20735).
As discussed in the technical notes in the sketchbook’s introduction, this leaf’s blank recto does not have a Tate ‘D’ accession number. It was prepared with a grey wash, and is inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘30’ and stamped in black ‘CCXXVII – 30’ at the bottom right.
Technical notes:
There is some watercolour offsetting from the grey ground used on folio 32 recto opposite (the verso of which is D20781; Turner Bequest CCXXVII 31).

Matthew Imms
November 2015

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