Joseph Mallord William Turner

East Cowes Castle: The Garden Room


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Chalk and pen and ink on paper
Support: 191 × 140 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXXVII a 10

Catalogue entry

Ian Warrell and Diane Perkins has remarked upon the difficulty of securely identifying some of the less characteristic aspects of East Cowes Castle shown in Turner’s drawings, suggesting that this view ‘seems not to depict an interior of the castle, but perhaps shows the entrance to some kind of garden folly with the added decoration of an urn and a bust.’1 The subject appears to be the open arches of the vaulted Gothic ‘garden room’, seen from the north below its small tower at the southern corner of the lawn which ran south-east from the main house. Compare the view of the house itself from within this elaborate gazebo-like structure (Tate D20807; Turner Bequest CCXXVII a 4), where the bust is shown from another angle.
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.
Warrell and Perkins 1988, p.16.
Blank; slight rippling and marks around the edges suggest that the sheet may formerly have been mounted.

Matthew Imms
November 2015

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