Joseph Mallord William Turner

Sailing Ships Passing a Buoy

1827

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Gouache and graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 137 × 197 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D20867
Turner Bequest CCXXVIII 7

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 for various generic shipping scenes. The buoy in the foreground here is comparable with that in the painting East Cowes Castle, the Seat of J. Nash, Esq.; the Regatta Beating to Windward, exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1828 (Indianapolis Museum of Art); 1 see also a drawing in the contemporary Cowes Regatta sketchbook (Tate D18026; Turner Bequest CCVII 20).
As noted there, the present work and eight other sheets were recorded in Finberg’s 1909 Inventory as mounted, and ‘formed part of a bundle’ labelled by John Ruskin ‘O. 166. Shipping, &c. rubbish’,2 although the nine are now all numbered ‘232 | O’ on their versos in common with the rest of the Turner Bequest CCXXVIII grouping, which Finberg noted as unmounted and ‘part of parcel endorsed, “O. 232. Chalk scrawls on grey. Rubbish.”’3
1
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).
2
Finberg 1909, II, p.702.
3
Ibid.
Verso:
Blank; inscribed in pencil ‘232 | O’ bottom right; inscribed in pencil ‘CCXXVIII . 7’ bottom right.

Matthew Imms
November 2015

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