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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner ?A Dark Interior or Curtained Bed, Perhaps with Figures c.1834-6

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 26 Recto:
?A Dark Interior or Curtained Bed, Perhaps with Figures c.1834–6
D28820
Turner Bequest CCXCI b 26
Watercolour on white wove paper, 77 x 101 mm
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘26’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CCXCI(b) – 26’ bottom right
 
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
In this very loosely washed, elemental beginning of a composition, the darkest area probably represents the interior of a curtained bed, possibly with figures within. Such a reading is suggested by comparison with more developed examples on adjacent pages; otherwise the forms here might equally evoke a storm at sea.
For a discussion of the improvisatory and often erotic nature of the watercolour studies making up most of this sketchbook, see the Introduction.

Matthew Imms
May 2014

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘?A Dark Interior or Curtained Bed, Perhaps with 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-dark-interior-or-curtained-bed-perhaps-with-figures-r1149049, accessed 23 January 2022.