In the years when the Tate Gallery began to malign the memory of Britain’s greatest painter in the undemocratic competition called the Turner Prize, the old gallery on Millbank held a series of specialised exhibitions with themes such as ‘Turner and the Alps’, ‘Turner’s Holland’, ‘Turner’s Rivers of Europe’, and so on. Ian Warrell helped with these fine surveys and one of them, ‘Turner and the Human Figure’, was largely his work.
Warrell has now returned to the theme of the body by attempting to describe Turner’s erotic drawings. His book is not an exhibition catalogue. Nor can one imagine a good exhibition on the subject, so partial, unconsidered and often third-rate are the works of this sort. This is nonetheless an