Joseph Mallord William Turner

Two Women in Bonnets, Possibly Watching the Cowes Regatta


Not on display

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 112 × 192 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXXVI 19

Catalogue entry

Two women wearing bonnets which obscure their faces are seen from behind, one being shown in full, seated beside items which may include personal baggage or accoutrements. There may be another figure beyond her, or the variations in the outline may indicate shifting positions in the course of Turner’s drawing, or a loose veil or scarf over the bonnet. At the top centre, fading out below the waist, is the profile of the head and body of a different woman, looking down to something held in her raised hands. The scallops and pleats of the first woman’s costume are particularly delicately rendered.
They may have been observed outdoors, watching the Cowes Regatta or waiting for water transport; compare the larger groups on folios 13 recto and 17 verso (D20615, D20621; Turner Bequest CCXXVI 12, 16a). For more on studies in this sketchbook relating to the regatta events from late July 1827 onwards, see the Introduction.

Matthew Imms
November 2015

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