Joseph Mallord William Turner

Groups of Figures Watching Vessels off Cowes Castle


Not on display

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 192 × 112 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXXVI 53 a

Catalogue entry

These two similar drawings were made with the page turned vertically. There are various studies of spectators at Cowes Regatta or related events in this sketchbook (see under folio 13 recto; D20615; Turner Bequest CCXXVI 12), and this seems to have been a favourite vantage point below the barbican of Cowes Castle (see under folio 72 verso; D20708; Turner Bequest CCXXVI 69a), as depicted in 1827 oil studies including Sketch for ‘East Cowes Castle, the Regatta Starting for Their Moorings’ No.3 (Tate N01997)1 and the painting East Cowes Castle, the Seat of J. Nash, Esq.; the Regatta Starting for their Moorings, exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1828 (Victoria and Albert Museum, London).2 As in the paintings, East Cowes Castle is indicated here on the skyline across the River Medina to the south-east (see under folio 1 verso; D20597).
For more on studies in this book relating to the regatta events at Cowes from late July 1827 onwards, see the Introduction.

Matthew Imms
November 2015

Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984, p.161 no.265, pl.270 (colour).
Ibid., pp.150–1 no.243, pl.247 (colour).

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