Joseph Mallord William Turner

East Cowes Castle from the West, across the Terrace


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Gouache and pen and ink on paper
Support: 140 × 190 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXXVII a 3

Catalogue entry

The view is across the terrace to the western corner of the main block of East Cowes Castle, with the bay window of the drawing room and the dining room beyond to the left on the ground floor, and the tower over the ‘octagon room’ to the right. Compare another view of this front, from the north (Tate D20842; Turner Bequest CCXXVII a 39).
This is among dozens of blue paper studies made in and around East Cowes Castle, presumably in the course of a single 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.
Technical notes:
As Ian Warrell and Diane Perkins have noted, ‘Turner’s use of pen and ink in this study conveys economically the architectural form of the castle, only vaguely suggesting the crenellated details of the towers’;1 such linear economy, combined with judicious touches of white, is a hallmark of the series as a whole.
Warrell and Perkins 1988, p.16.

Matthew Imms
November 2015

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