Joseph Mallord William Turner

Norris Castle from the Solent, with East Cowes Castle Beyond; a Sailing Boat


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 2

Catalogue entry

The view at the top, of Norris Castle on the Isle of Wight from the sea, is continued from folio 1 verso opposite (D17992), under which the subject is discussed. Below is a study of a small sailing boat, made with the page turned the other way up. For more on studies in this sketchbook relating to the regatta events at Cowes from late July 1827 onwards, see the sketchbook Introduction.
Turner remained on the Isle of Wight into September. The immediate significance of his note, presumably indicating a sum of 200 pounds or guineas, is as yet undetermined; it overlaps with the sketch, and may have been hurriedly inscribed after the drawing had been made. Henry Harpur was a cousin of the artist on his mother’s side, and becoming his solicitor and eventually one of his executors.1 Turner was involved in business dealings regarding his interests in Wapping, East London, in September and October 1827, having inherited a share of some family property in 1821. Harpur had been another beneficiary;2 he is also mentioned in a letter to Turner concerning family business in November 1827 (Tate D40313, the verso of D25522; Turner Bequest CCLXIII a 7).

Matthew Imms
December 2014

See James Hamilton, ‘Mother’s Family’ in Evelyn Joll, Martin Butlin and Luke Herrmann (eds.), The Oxford Companion to J.M.W. Turner, Oxford 2001, pp.193–4.
See Sam Smiles, ‘On the Waterfront: The Darker Side of the Ship and Bladebone’, Turner Society News, no.107, December 2007, pp.3–5.

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