Joseph Mallord William Turner

A Group of Figures, Perhaps Watching Cowes Regatta

1827

Not on display

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 192 × 112 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D20700
Turner Bequest CCXXVI 65 a

Catalogue entry

The drawing, made with the page turned vertically, shows a disparate group of figures, including soldiers in plumed helmets and perhaps children, on a slope with masts beyond. They are likely to be spectators on the shore at Cowes Regatta; compare the variety of figures in Turner’s 1827 oil Sketch for ‘East Cowes Castle, the Regatta Starting for Their Moorings’ No.3 (Tate N01997)1 and the subsequent painting East Cowes Castle, the Seat of J. Nash, Esq.; the Regatta Starting for their Moorings, exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1828 (Victoria and Albert Museum, London).2 There is another crowd on folio 69 recto opposite (D20701; Turner Bequest CCXXVI 66); for other spectators see under folio 13 recto (D20615; Turner Bequest CCXXVI 12).
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

1
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984, p.161 no.265, pl.270 (colour).
2
Ibid., pp.150–1 no.243, pl.247 (colour).

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