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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner A Nude Seated Woman, with her Head in her Hand c.1833

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
A Nude Seated Woman, with her Head in her Hand c.1833
Turner Bequest CCCXLI 229
Pencil on grey wove paper, 176 x 155 mm
Inscribed in red ink ‘229’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CCCXLI – 229’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Ian Warrell has described this drawing, Tate D33939, D33941 and D33969 (Turner Bequest CCCXLI 228, 230, 254) as ‘Four pencil studies of models’, dating them to about 1833, when Turner visited central Europe and Venice, both on the basis of the paper being similar to sheets used then for topographical views; he also observes that the arrangement of the model’s hair ‘recalls the Italian fashions’ of that period.1
It seems likely that three of them show the same woman, although it is unclear whether the figure seen from the back in D33941 is male or female. Here the woman sits in a frank posture with her legs slightly crossed and leans on one elbow, her clothing restricted to a shawl or scarf around her upper arms.
Warrell 2003, p.25.
Technical notes:
Finberg described the media as ‘Pencil and white chalk’,1 although the latter is not now evident. The sheet was once folded horizontally.
Finberg 1909, II, p.1075.
Blank; slight staining, possibly water damage from the 1928 Tate Gallery flood.

Matthew Imms
September 2016

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘A Nude Seated Woman, with her Head in her Hand c.1833 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, September 2016, 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-nude-seated-woman-with-her-head-in-her-hand-r1184322, accessed 20 June 2024.