Display caption

Turner’s view is from the Solent, looking south up the river Medina with the castle in the distance. The Tudor fort at Cowes, later the site of the Royal Yacht Squadron’s clubhouse, is on the far right. As with its pair, there are three Tate oil studies for a finished painting for John Nash, now in the Victoria and Albert Museum. As a counterpoint to the energy of the racing scene, Turner adopts one of his favourite templates, the serene Claude Lorrain-style harbour setting, sunlit and empty of the bustling crowds and yachts shown in the finished version.

February 2010