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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner A Reclining Nude with One Arm Reaching behind her Head c.1834-6

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 55 Verso:
A Reclining Nude with One Arm Reaching behind her Head c.1834–6
D28871
Turner Bequest CCXCI b 55
Watercolour and pencil on white wove paper, 77 x 101 mm
 
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
A naked woman is shown reclining, brightly lit against billowing forms which appear to suggest a setting of bedclothes and curtains. The studies on folios 53 verso and 54 verso (D28867, D28879) each show the same or a similar pose from a different angle, and they were perhaps made from life on the same occasion (perhaps, as Ian Warrell has suggested, in an academic Life Class),1 as opposed to the many apparently imaginative bedroom figure scenes elsewhere in this book.
For a discussion of the improvisatory and often erotic nature of the watercolour studies making up most of this sketchbook, see the Introduction.
The unaccessioned recto is inscribed in red ink ‘55’ and stamped ‘CCXCI(b) – 55’; it is otherwise blank except for a slight continuation or offsetting of watercolour from folio 54 verso (D28869).

Matthew Imms
May 2014

1
See Warrell 2003, p.28.

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘A Reclining Nude with One Arm Reaching behind her Head 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-reclining-nude-with-one-arm-reaching-behind-her-head-r1149087, accessed 17 May 2022.