Joseph Mallord William Turner

Yachts off Cowes, with East Cowes Castle Beyond; Cowes Castle; Figures and Shipping

1827

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 100 x 74 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D18130
Turner Bequest CCVII 73

Catalogue entry

With the page turned vertically, at the top is a rapid sketch of yachts off Cowes, with bunting or flags, and the outline of East Cowes Castle in the distance to the east. Compare the central section of the painting East Cowes Castle, the Seat of J. Nash, Esq.; the Regatta Starting for their Moorings, exhibited in at the Royal Academy in 1828 (Victoria and Albert Museum, London).1 The drawing below shows the castellated north-east front of Cowes Castle, which survives at the core of the much altered and extended Royal Yacht Squadron headquarters. The lightly indicated barbican in front looks out over the mouth of the River Medina, and is shown on the right of the painting. Compare the watercolour of a similar view up the Medina by Frederick Calvert (1785–1845) in the British Museum, London.
Below is a cluster of masts and sails, with figures in front of them in the continuation on folio 72 verso opposite (D18129). For more on studies in this sketchbook relating to the regatta events at Cowes from late July 1827 onwards, see the sketchbook Introduction; for other views of East Cowes Castle, see under folio 22 recto (D18030), and for Cowes Castle, see under folio 19 verso (D18025).

Matthew Imms
December 2014

1
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984, pp.150–1 no.243, pl.247 (colour).

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