Joseph Mallord William Turner

Ships and Boats under Sail; ?Rocks or a Small Island near Dover


View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Graphite on paper
Support: 74 x 100 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCVII 12 a

Catalogue entry

There are two registers of sketches here, showing vessels of various sizes and configurations sailing. At the bottom right, isolated by a pencil border, is a slight landscape form of rocks or a small island, drawn with the page turned vertically in relation to the coastal sketches on folio 13 recto opposite (D18103), which may show Dover Castle.
The yacht at the bottom right is loosely comparable to one in the distance on the right of the painting Cowes Castle, the Seat of J. Nash, Esq.; the Regatta Beating to Windward, exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1828 (Indianapolis Museum of Art).1 For more on studies in this sketchbook relating to the regatta events at Cowes from late July 1827 onwards, see the sketchbook Introduction.

Matthew Imms
December 2014

Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984, p.150 no.242, pl.246 (colour).

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