Joseph Mallord William Turner

East Cowes Castle from the South-East, with the Mouth of the River Medina and Cowes Beyond


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Chalk, ink wash and pen and ink on paper
Support: 138 x 192 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLX 9

Catalogue entry

The view is to the north-west, with East Cowes Castle up on the right and Cowes across the River Medina below, and the tower of St Mary’s Church, Cowes, designed by Turner’s Isle of Wight host John Nash1 above the masts of boats clustered near Cowes Castle on the shore. For similar views, see under Tate D2084 (Turner Bequest CCXXVII a 1).
Having been exhibited as a French subject in the nineteenth century, like several others in the present subsection this drawing was categorised in Finberg’s 1909 Inventory in one of the sections of works on blue paper ‘mostly connected with “French Rivers”’.2 It is among dozens of blue paper studies made in and around East Cowes Castle, presumably during the same visit. For more on the various aspects of the house (demolished in about 1950), and its lost grounds as depicted by Turner, see the Introduction to this subsection.
See ‘About the Building’, Welcome to St Mary the Virgin Church, Cowes, accessed 15 December 2014,
See Finberg 1909, II, pp.806–13, CCLX, ‘Pencil and ink on blue paper: mostly connected with “French Rivers” series’, c.1830; see Warrell 1989, p.148 and Warrell 1999, pp.30, 253 note 84, linking this work to the Isle of Wight.
Blank; inscribed ?by John Ruskin in red ink ‘[?498]’ bottom left; inscribed in pencil ‘cclx.9’ bottom right.

Matthew Imms
November 2015

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