Joseph Mallord William Turner

Spectators and Shipping at Cowes Regatta


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 26 a

Catalogue entry

These drawings were made on two registers with the page turned vertically, working down from the outer edge. Folio 26 verso and the recto of the present page (D20638, D20639; Turner Bequest CCXXVI 25a, 26) show busy scenes of sailing and rowing boats manoeuvring in close proximity, as well as crowds of figures. In sequence with them, as Finberg recognised,1 here the setting is the shore of the River Medina near Cowes Castle (see under folio 72 verso; D20708; Turner Bequest CCXXVI 69a), looking south-east to East Cowes Castle (see under folio 1 verso; D20597) on the skyline on the left of the lower view, with small groups of spectators. Compare the setting of the 1827 oil Sketch for ‘East Cowes Castle, the Regatta Starting for Their Moorings’ No.3 (Tate N01997),2 a study for 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).3
For more on studies in this sketchbook relating to the regatta events at Cowes from late July 1827 onwards, see the Introduction. For others with spectators, see under folio 13 recto (D20615; Turner Bequest CCXXVI 12).

Matthew Imms
November 2015

Finberg 1909, II, p.696.
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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