Joseph Mallord William Turner

Yachts on the River Medina off Cowes Castle, with East Cowes Castle Beyond; Figures in a Sailing Boat


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 71

Catalogue entry

The main drawing is inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation, and continues across folio 73 verso opposite (D20710; Turner Bequest CCXXVI 70a). The viewpoint is the mouth of the River Medina off Cowes Castle, seen on the opposite page, where the panoramic prospect runs south-west along the shore at Cowes before extending here south-eastwards to East Cowes, with the tower of East Cowes Castle (see under folio 1 verso; D20597) lightly indicated on the skyline beyond the bunting of the moored sailing boats. Compare the setting of the painting 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).1
At the top right is a separate detail showing figures, apparently including a woman in a large bonnet, in the stern of a sailing boat below the boom of its mainsail. For more on studies in this sketchbook relating to the regatta events at Cowes from late July 1827 onwards, see the Introduction.

Matthew Imms
November 2015

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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