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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner A Curtained Bed, with a Naked Figure or Figures c.1834-6

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 14 Recto:
A Curtained Bed, with a Naked Figure or Figures c.1834–6
Turner Bequest CCXCI b 14
Watercolour on white wove paper, 77 x 101 mm
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘14’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CCXCI(b) – 14’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Within the dark space defined by bed curtains at the left, there appears to be a pale naked figure, perhaps female, standing or leaning on the right, bending a little to the left; the inner line of the leg and the crotch appears to have been emphasised, and there seem to be very rudimentary facial features. Other shapes may indicate another figure on the bed with an arm hanging down, though this is even more speculative.
For a discussion of the improvisatory and often erotic nature of the watercolour studies making up most of this sketchbook, see the Introduction.
Blank, save for slight offsetting of watercolour from folio 15 recto opposite (D28806).

Matthew Imms
May 2014

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘A Curtained Bed, with a Naked Figure or Figures c.1834–6 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, May 2014, 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-curtained-bed-with-a-naked-figure-or-figures-r1149035, accessed 09 December 2021.