Joseph Mallord William Turner

A Paddle Steamer Departing from a Harbour, Perhaps Cowes


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Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Chalk, ink wash and pen and ink on paper
Support: 140 x 190 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLX 36

Catalogue entry

This is among dozens of blue paper studies presumably made in connection with the Cowes Regatta events in the late summer of 1827; see the Introduction to this subsection for other generic harbour and coastal scenes. The setting is uncertain, but may be Cowes itself, where the waterfront has since been much redeveloped. The steamer getting under way at the centre seems to be the same as that shown arriving in Tate D24871 (Turner Bequest CCLX 35); see the Introduction for similar sheets elsewhere including another showing what seems to be the same steamer.
Like several others in the present subsection, this drawing was categorised in Finberg’s 1909 inventory in one of the sections of works on blue paper ‘mostly connected with “French Rivers”’.1
See Finberg 1909, II, pp.806–13, CCLX, ‘Pencil and ink on blue paper: mostly connected with “French Rivers” series’, c.1830; see also Martin Butlin, Andrew Wilton and John Gage, Turner 1775–1851, exhibition catalogue, Royal Academy, London 1974, p.116 no.389, associating it with the French rivers; see also Warrell 1991, p.65 and Warrell 1999, pp.30, 253 note 84, linking it to the Cowes material.
Blank; inscribed in red ink ?by John Ruskin ‘[?3...]’ bottom left; inscribed in pencil ‘45b’ right of centre and ‘CCLX – 36’ bottom right; stamped in black with Turner Bequest monogram over ‘CCLX – 36’ right of centre.

Matthew Imms
November 2015

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