This is one of three pages near the beginning of this sketchbook worked in watercolour alone; see also folios 8 recto and 9 recto (D20607, D20608). The slight but assured sketch shows a small sailing boat apparently with numerous figures on board, set on a perfunctorily indicated sea with a low horizon. Ruskin called it a ‘Colour-study at Sea’ in his definitive catalogue of Turner Bequest loans to Oxford University on 1878,1 having initially described it as a ‘Lugger going out’.2
The subject may have been observed in the vicinity of Cowes; for more on studies in this sketchbook relating to the regatta events at Cowes from late July 1827 onwards, see the Introduction.
Finberg only recorded a ‘Leaf cut out’ at this point in his 1909 Inventory,1 subsequently identifying the present work as belonging at this point, as folio ‘ c} Colour study of Sea. Oxford 101–160’ among ‘3 leaves found after Invy. was printed’2 (see the concordance in the Introduction), the recto being D20612 (Turner Bequest CCXXVI 10b).