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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner A Cow Lying Down and the Head of a Cow in Profile c.1807-14

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 6 Recto:
A Cow Lying Down and the Head of a Cow in Profile c.1807–14
Turner Bequest CXXII 6
Pencil on white wove paper, 69 x 112 mm
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘6’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CXXII – 6’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
A cow (or perhaps a calf) occupies the middle of the page, seen from the side lying down with its head turned towards the artist. The head and neck of the same or a similar animal in profile appear above on a slightly larger scale, almost overlapping with the back of the central study. There is a related sketch, showing a head and front quarters, on folio 7 recto (D08293). Ian Warrell has remarked upon the ‘remarkable frequency’ of such studies in Turner’s early sketchbooks.1

Matthew Imms
September 2013

Ian Warrell in Warrell, Blandine Chavanne and Michael Kitson, Turner et le Lorrain, exhibition catalogue, Musée des beaux-arts, Nancy 2002, p.186, listing numerous examples.

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘A Cow Lying Down and the Head of a Cow in Profile c.1807–14 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, September 2013, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, September 2014, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-a-cow-lying-down-and-the-head-of-a-cow-in-profile-r1147767, accessed 23 June 2024.