J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner A Couple ?Engaged in Sexual Activity c.1810

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 25 Recto:
A Couple ?Engaged in Sexual Activity circa 1810
Turner Bequest CCX a 23
Pencil on white laid writing paper, 115 x 187 mm
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘23’ bottom right (now very faint)
Stamped in black ‘CCX(a) – 23’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
As discussed in the introduction, most of the drawings in this book are rapid figure studies, many of which are explicitly erotic; others may be similar in intent, but are difficult to make out. Here the fragmentary woman on the left appears to crouch as a figure approaches from the right.

Matthew Imms
January 2012

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘A Couple ?Engaged in Sexual Activity c.1810 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, January 2012, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, February 2017, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-a-couple-engaged-in-sexual-activity-r1184375, accessed 27 September 2020.