Joseph Mallord William Turner

A Group of Women and Children Spectators at Cowes Regatta


Not on display

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 192 × 112 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXXVI 12

Catalogue entry

The drawing was made with the page turned vertically. It comprises a group of standing and seated figures, the adults apparently wholly or largely women with bonnets and large hats or parasols, accompanied by children, set on a shallow slope with masts beyond. The group and its setting evoke the parties of spectators on the shore below Cowes Castle in the finished 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),1 and the 1827 oil Sketch for ‘East Cowes Castle, the Regatta Starting for Their Moorings’ No.3 (Tate N01997).2
Compare in particular the smaller, more closely observed group on folio 17 verso (D20621; Turner Bequest CCXXVI 16a); see also folios 27 verso, 40 verso, 41 recto, 56 verso, 61 verso, 63 verso, 68 verso and 69 recto (D20640, D20659, D20660, D20683, D20689, D20693, D20700, D20701; Turner Bequest CCXXVI 26a, 38a, 39, 53a, 58a, 60a, 65a, 66). For more on studies in this sketchbook relating to the regatta events at Cowes from late July 1827 onwards, see the Introduction.
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984, pp.150–1 no.243, pl.247 (colour).
Ibid., p.161 no.265, pl.270 (colour).

Matthew Imms
November 2015

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