Joseph Mallord William Turner

Yachts under Sail off Cowes Castle, with East Cowes Castle in the Distance


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Gouache and graphite on paper
Support: 145 × 190 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXXVIII 44

Catalogue entry

This is among dozens of blue paper studies presumably made in connection with the Cowes Regatta events in the late summer of 1827; see the Introduction to this subsection for other views of Cowes Castle. Here the barbican of Cowes Castle is shown above the shore on the right, with East Cowes Castle picked out on the skyline to the south-east across the mouth of the River Medina. Albeit from a slightly different viewpoint, the general arrangement is comparable with that adopted for 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
As noted in the Introduction, the present work and thirty-four other sheets were recorded in Finberg’s 1909 Inventory as unmounted, and ‘formed part of [a] parcel’ labelled by John Ruskin ‘O. 232. Chalk scrawls on grey. Rubbish.’2
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).
Finberg 1909, II, p.702.
Blank; inscribed in red ink ‘41[?9]’ bottom left; inscribed in pencil ‘419’ top left; inscribed in pencil ‘CCXXVIII . 44’ bottom right. Despite Finberg’s statement that this sheet was unmounted, the remnants of white mounting paper or tape are evident at the corners.

Matthew Imms
November 2015

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