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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Figures in a Rowing Boat by Steps below a Harbour Wall, Possibly at Cowes 1827

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Figures in a Rowing Boat by Steps below a Harbour Wall, Possibly at Cowes 1827
D20874
Turner Bequest CCXXVIII 14
Gouache and pencil on blue wove paper, 142 x 193 mm
Blind-stamped with Turner Bequest monogram below right of centre
Stamped in black ‘CCCCVIII 14’ 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 harbour and coastal scenes. The setting of this substantial harbour wall with steps in the foreground is uncertain, but may be Cowes itself, where the waterfront has since been much redeveloped. The same structures appear to be shown again in a blue paper drawing in ink (Tate D24871; Turner Bequest CCLX 35); see also the Introduction for further possibly related drawings. The figures in the boat may include women in bonnets, probably visitors to Cowes for the racing; compare Tate D20872 (Turner Bequest CCXXVIII 12).
As noted there, 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
1
Finberg 1909, II, p.702.
Verso:
Blank; inscribed in pencil ‘232 | O’ top left, upside down; inscribed in pencil ‘CCXXVIII . 14’ top left, upside down.

Matthew Imms
November 2015

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘Figures in a Rowing Boat by Steps below a Harbour Wall, Possibly at Cowes 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-figures-in-a-rowing-boat-by-steps-below-a-harbour-wall-r1183406, accessed 26 May 2024.