Joseph Mallord William Turner

Yachts under Sail; Women in a Breeze and Regatta Spectators with a Telescope, Probably at Cowes


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 74 × 100 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCVII 19

Catalogue entry

On the left is a study of yachts; their billowing sails perhaps suggest racing. The yachts on folio 18 verso opposite (D18023) seem to have been observed on the same occasion, and are perhaps even the same craft. To the right, drawn with the page turned vertically, are figure studies, with women holding their dresses down in the breeze,1 recalling similar wind-blown figures in the painting Calais Pier, exhibited in 1803 (National Gallery, London);2 see also the woman on folio 58 recto (D18101). There are also figures looking off to the right, including one apparently using a telescope, presumably to watch the yachts; compare those on folios 33 recto and 36 recto (D18052, D18058). For more on studies in this sketchbook relating to the regatta events at Cowes from late July 1827 onwards, see the sketchbook Introduction.

Matthew Imms
December 2014

See Chumbley and Warrell 1989, p.60.
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984, pp.37–8 no.48, pl.58 (colour).

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