Joseph Mallord William Turner

Yachts in the Solent off Norris Castle


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 38

Catalogue entry

Finberg identified the building on the skyline as East Cowes Castle (see under folio 1 verso; D20597),1 but the subject is clearly nearby Norris Castle, seen from the north-east across the Solent. Built in mock-medieval style by James Wyatt (1746–1813) between about 1799 and 1805 for the politician Lord Henry Seymour (1746–1830),2 it stands on the coast of the Isle of Wight a little to the north-east of East Cowes, adjacent to the grounds of the later Osborne House. In the distance on the right is the tower of St Mary’s Church, Cowes, on the far side of the entrance to the River Medina; there is a continuation of the Cowes headland with distant shipping at the top right; compare the view on folio 41 recto (D20660; Turner Bequest CCXXVI 39).
The slight rendering on folio 39 verso opposite (D20657; Turner Bequest CCXXVI 37a) appears to show a similar view; see also folios 21 verso, 22 recto and verso, 38 verso, 46 verso, 47 recto, 50 recto, 54 recto and 55 recto (D20629–D20631, D20655, D20668, D20669, D20673, D20679, D20681; Turner Bequest CCXXVI 20a, 21, 21a, 36a, 44a, 45, 48, 52, 52b).
For contemporary views of the castle in the Cowes Regatta sketchbook, see under Tate D17992 (Turner Bequest CCVII 1a), and for more on studies in the present sketchbook relating to the regatta events at Cowes from late July 1827 onwards, see the Introduction.

Matthew Imms
November 2015

Finberg 1909, II, p.696.
See David W. Lloyd and Nikolaus Pevsner, The Isle of Wight, The Buildings of England, revised ed., New Haven and London 2006, pp.195–6.

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