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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Carisbrooke Castle, ?from the North ?1827

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Carisbrooke Castle, ?from the North ?1827
Turner Bequest CCXXIV 26
Pencil on blue wove paper, 128 x 188 mm
Stamped in black ‘CCXXIV – 26’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
This sheet was formerly identified by Ian Warrell as an 1826 sketch showing Château d’Arques near Dieppe (a subject addressed by Turner on other occasions) from the north-east,1 made during Turner’s travels in northern France that year; the watercolours Tate D20213 (CCXX G)2 and D20214 (Turner Bequest CCXX H)3 were associated with the same subject, together with another in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.4 Following correspondence with William Fox in 2003, Warrell reidentified all of these, along with Tate D20212 (Turner Bequest CCXX F) and a second Fitzwilliam watercolour,5 as studies around Carisbrooke Castle, with ‘Lukeley Brook ... exaggerated so that it looks more like a significant river’.6 The titles for the three Turner Bequest watercolours and the present sketch were updated to reflect this in Tate’s records in 2005. The bridge and buildings in D20214 are closest to those shown here, although the viewpoint is uncertain; the skyline and the trees on the right in one of the Fitzwilliam works7 are also directly comparable.
The dates and purpose of the five watercolour studies remain unresolved, as Warrell has noted, but he has suggested that they may relate to a previously unrecorded trip to the Isle of Wight in the summer of 1826 before Turner’s departure for France, as discussed in the Introduction to the present tour. In the absence of a firm chronology or definitive list of works that the proposed 1826 tour might have produced, this sheet has been associated here with dozens of blue paper studies more firmly associated with the Cowes Regatta events in the late summer of 1827 (see the Introduction to this subsection). At the time of writing the three Turner Bequest watercolours noted above await further research. For other Carisbrooke views, see under Tate D08274 (Turner Bequest CXXI R), an earlier colour study; these include a finished watercolour of about 1828 (Carisbrooke Castle Museum),8 engraved in 1830 for Turner’s Picturesque Views in England and Wales (Tate impressions: T04554, T04555).
Reflecting the complexities of Turner’s wide-ranging use of blue paper in different contexts around this time, the present sheet is among a handful now identified as Isle of Wight-related subjects which had been categorised in Finberg’s 1909 Inventory in a large section of blue paper ‘Meuse-Moselle’ subjects of about 1826,9 albeit some of which ‘may belong to the “Rivers of France” series, or even to the Italian tour of 1828’.10
See Warrell 1997, pp.29, 161.
Ibid., p.217 no.33, fig.156, as ?1826–7.
Ibid., no.34, fig.157, as ?1826–7.
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.347 no.421, as ‘River landscape, with a castle on a hill’, c.1811, reproduced; Warrell 1997, p.217 no.35, fig.158, as ?1826–7.
Wilton 1979, p.347 no.422, as ‘River landscape, with a distant hill’, c.1811, reproduced.
Ian Warrell, Turner’s Wessex: Architecture and Ambition, exhibition catalogue, Salisbury Museum 2015, p.159; see also the list of the watercolours (but not the present drawing), p.198 note 11.
Wilton 1979, p.347 no.421.
Ibid., p.395 no.815, reproduced.
See Finberg 1909, II, pp.692–4, CCXXIV 1–240, ‘Black and white sketches on blue connected with the Meuse-Moselle tour’.
Ibid., p.692.
Technical notes:
This sheet has been linked to others bearing the watermark ‘B.E. & S. 1823’ or with ‘sufficient evidence to determine that the paper is of the same type’ in the context of Turner’s blue paper River Loire studies.1 Such sheets were made by George Steart of Bally, Ellen and Steart at De Montault Mill, Coombe Down, Bath.2
Subset A in ‘Checklist of the Blue Papers Used for the Loire Studies’ in Warrell 1997, p.238, assessed ‘in collaboration with [paper conservator] Peter Bower’.
See ibid.
Blank; inscribed in pencil ‘26’ top left, and ‘D20316’ bottom left.

Matthew Imms
November 2015

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘Carisbrooke Castle, ?from the North ?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-carisbrooke-castle-from-the-north-r1183378, accessed 26 May 2024.