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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner A Curtained Bed, with a Stooping Man ?Looking at a Naked Woman c.1834-6

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 32 Verso:
A Curtained Bed, with a Stooping Man ?Looking at a Naked Woman c.1834–6
Turner Bequest CCXCI c 32
Watercolour on white wove paper, 79 x 101 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation, the setting is a curtained bed, beside which a man is shown in silhouette, bending forwards with his hands on his knees. Within the shadowy bed there are pale forms which seem to indicate a naked woman; unless the marks are fortuitous, her head seems to be articulated by tiny dark dots for eyes, suggesting that she is returning the man’s gaze; compare the apparently voyeuristic subject on folio 37 verso (D28936).
For a discussion of the improvisatory and often erotic nature of the watercolour studies making up most of this sketchbook, see the Introduction.
Technical notes:
The unaccessioned, blank recto is numbered in red ink ‘32’ and stamped ‘CCXCI(c) – 32’. There is some offsetting from the present page to the unaccessioned recto of folio 33 opposite (its verso being D28928).

Matthew Imms
May 2014

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘A Curtained Bed, with a Stooping Man ?Looking at a Naked Woman 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-stooping-man-looking-at-a-naked-woman-r1149007, accessed 19 September 2021.