Joseph Mallord William Turner

East Cowes Castle from the West, beyond Trees and a Pond at Moonrise


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Gouache and pen and ink on paper
Support: 147 x 190 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXXVII a 11

Catalogue entry

The view is through trees west of East Cowes Castle, with what seems to be the northernmost of the two ponds marked on that side on early Ordnance Survey maps, apparently reflecting the light of a full moon rising beyond the rough skyline. The other pond may be shown in Tate D20825 (Turner Bequest CCXVII a 22).
This is among dozens of blue paper studies made in and around East Cowes Castle, presumably in the course of a single visit, including several showing the moon. For more on the various aspects of the house (demolished in about 1950), and its lost grounds as depicted by Turner, see the Introduction to this subsection.
While this sheet was definitely exhibited in Shock of Recognition in The Hague and London from 1970 to 1971, the identity of a second (Hague no.50a, London no.48a, as ‘Bay with East Cowes Castle in the background’) is uncertain; candidates include D20804 and D20819–D20821 (CCXXVII a 1, 16, 17, 18).
Technical notes:
Although not immediately apparent, losses were sustained in the 1928 Tate Gallery flood, when ink was offset to a sheet laid over this one during the recovery process (Tate D40523).
Blank; the heavily applied ink on the recto has bled through a little, and there is very slight ink offsetting, presumably from another drawing in this East Cowes sequence.

Matthew Imms
November 2015

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