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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Naked Nymphs and Satyrs Engaged in Sexual Activity c.1810

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 35 Recto:
Naked Nymphs and Satyrs Engaged in Sexual Activity circa 1810
D18514
Turner Bequest CCX a 33
Pencil on white laid writing paper, 115 x 187 mm
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘33’ bottom right (now very faint)
Stamped in black ‘CCX(a) – 33’ bottom right
 
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
As discussed in the introduction, most of the drawings in this book are rapid figure studies, many of which are explicitly erotic; others may be similar in intent, but are difficult to make out, and may be of classical or biblical subjects. This one is comparatively finished, with the horned figures of fauns or satyrs engaging with naked women in various states of abandon. There appear to be more nymphs and satyrs on folio 29 recto and 30 recto (D18508, D18509; CCX a 27, 28), and on folio 36 recto (D18515; CCX a 34).
Verso:
Blank

Matthew Imms
January 2012

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘Naked Nymphs and Satyrs Engaged in Sexual Activity c.1810 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, January 2012, 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-naked-nymphs-and-satyrs-engaged-in-sexual-activity-r1184385, accessed 25 August 2019.