Joseph Mallord William Turner

Figures on Shore, Perhaps at Cowes, with a Yacht under Sail

1827

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 135 x 196 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D20881
Turner Bequest CCXXVIII 21

Catalogue entry

This is among dozens of blue paper studies presumably made in connection with the Cowes Regatta events in the late summer of 1827; see the Introduction to this subsection. The slightness of the busy pencil work here makes the subject difficult to decipher, but it seems to show a crowd on a waterfront, possibly with flags flying, and a yacht manoeuvring at speed beyond. Alternatively they may be in a rowing boat, like those in Tate D20874 (Turner Bequest CCXXVIII 14). There are various studies of spectators in the sketchbooks associated with this tour, for example a group with a telescope in the Cowes Regatta book (Tate D18052; Turner Bequest CCVII 33).
As noted there, the present work and thirty-four other sheets were recorded in Finberg’s 1909 Inventory as unmounted, and ‘formed part of [a] parcel’ labelled by John Ruskin ‘O. 232. Chalk scrawls on grey. Rubbish.’1
1
Finberg 1909, II, p.702.
Verso:
Blank; inscribed in pencil ‘232 | O’ top left, upside down; inscribed in pencil ‘CCXXVIII . 21’ bottom right.

Matthew Imms
November 2015

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