J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner A Ship or Ships under Sail 1827

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
A Ship or Ships under Sail 1827
Turner Bequest CCXXVIII 19
Pencil on blue wove paper, 140 x 190 mm
Blind-stamped with Turner Bequest monogram below right of centre
Stamped in black ‘CCCCVIII 19’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
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 generic shipping, coastal and harbour scenes. Here the rapid drawing is somewhat unclear, with the foremast and bowsprit of a large sailing ship seen at the centre, with other sails to the left possibly those of the mainmast or forming a separate detail.
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.’1
Finberg 1909, II, p.702.
Technical notes:
There is a darkened strip down the right-hand edge, possibly from prolonged exposure to light or dust.
Blank; inscribed in pencil ‘232 | O’ top left, upside down; inscribed in pencil ‘CCXXVIII . 19’ top left, upside down.

Matthew Imms
November 2015

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘A Ship or Ships under Sail 1827 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, November 2015, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, November 2016, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-a-ship-or-ships-under-sail-r1183411, accessed 17 May 2022.