Joseph Mallord William Turner

Coastal Views from the Solent, Including Cowes, Ryde, and ?Brambles Chine on the Isle of Wight, and ?Calshot Castle

1827

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Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 112 x 192 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D20629
Turner Bequest CCXXVI 20 a

Catalogue entry

There are four sketches main here, each apparently showing a low coastal profile from the Solent between the Isle of Wight and the Hampshire mainland. The top one seems to be a slight view south-west to Cowes, with the masts of boats at the mouth of the River Medina. Compare the closer view of Cowes on folio 22 recto opposite (D20630; Turner Bequest CCXXVI 21). The tower in the second appears to be Calshot Castle, guarding the entrance to Southampton Water; compare the detailed studies in the contemporary Cowes Regatta sketchbook (Tate D18106, D18107; Turner Bequest CCVII 60a, 61). There may be an even more distant view on the opposite page.
Going by Turner’s inscription, the third view may include Brambles Chine, on the coast near Totland towards the western end of the island, while at the foot of the page Ryde is indicated in the distance, with what seems to be Norris Castle near East Cowes on the right (see under folio 40 recto; D20658; CCXXVI 38), looking south-eastwards. The castle is also seen on the opposite page.
Below the likely view of Cowes at the top left is the outline of a castellated tower, which may be the one on the shore at the end of the East Cowes Esplanade, marking the corner of the Norris Castle estate; compare the views on folio 41 recto (D20660; Turner Bequest CCXXVI 39). Lastly, inverted towards the gutter at the top right is Cowes Castle (see under folio 72 verso; D20708; Turner Bequest CCXXVI 69a), briefly terminating the view of Cowes seen on D20630 opposite. For more on studies in this sketchbook relating to the regatta events at Cowes from late July 1827 onwards, see the Introduction.

Matthew Imms
November 2015

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