Turner Nudes Survived

According to legend all the erotic paintings of the artist JMW Turner were burned in the mid-nineteenth century by the prudish critic John Ruskin. The source of this legend was Ruskin himself, who often boasted that he had burned them to conceal the evidence of Turner's "failure of mind". It turns out Ruskin lied. He couldn't bring himself to burn them. Instead, as researcher Ian Warrell discovered, Ruskin simply misfiled most of the nudes, thereby effectively concealing their existence. Through diligent archival work Warrell realized that "Almost all the hundreds of allegedly missing drawings, which range from close-up detail to blurry colour washes and clearly held a powerful erotic charge for Turner, appear to be safely in the Tate collection."

Art

Posted on Wed Jan 05, 2005



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