Joseph Mallord William Turner

East Cowes: The Headland and Castle


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 74 × 100 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCVII 22

Catalogue entry

Across the middle of the page, East Cowes Castle is seen from the west in the distance, beyond Cowes Castle on the waterfront on the near side of the River Medina; the view continues north to the nearby headland on folio 21 verso opposite (D18029). The mock-medieval ‘castle’, home to Turner’s host on the Isle of Wight, the architect John Nash, features in numerous other sketches here; see also folios 1 verso, 22 verso–23 recto, 23 verso, 24 verso, 25 verso, 28 recto, 31 recto, 41 verso, 45 recto, 49 verso and 73 recto (D17992, D18031–D18033, D18035, D18037, D18042, D18048, D18069, D18075, D18084, D18130), and a possible distant view on folio 54 recto (D18093).
Not to be confused with the Tudor Cowes Castle (see under folio 19 verso; D18025), East Cowes Castle is seen from similar viewpoints as the focus of two paintings commissioned by Nash and exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1828: East Cowes Castle, the Seat of J. Nash, Esq.; the Regatta Beating to Windward (Indianapolis Museum of Art),1 and East Cowes Castle, the Seat of J. Nash, Esq.; the Regatta Starting for their Moorings (Victoria and Albert Museum, London).2 For more on East Cowes Castle, which Turner depicted extensively during his 1827 stay, see the overall Introduction to the present section.
Above appears to be a second version of the section showing the castle, and below is a slighter skyline with indecipherable notes. For more on studies in this sketchbook relating to the regatta events at Cowes from late July 1827 onwards, see the sketchbook Introduction.

Matthew Imms
December 2014

Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984, p.150 no.242, pl.246 (colour).
Ibid., pp.150–1 no.243, pl.247 (colour).

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