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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Two Women in Bonnets, Possibly Watching the Cowes Regatta 1827

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 20 Recto:
Two Women in Bonnets, Possibly Watching the Cowes Regatta 1827
Turner Bequest CCXXVI 19
Pencil on white wove paper, 112 x 192 mm
Partial watermark ‘R Bar | 18’
Stamped in black ‘CCXXVI – 19’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Two women wearing bonnets which obscure their faces are seen from behind, one being shown in full, seated beside items which may include personal baggage or accoutrements. There may be another figure beyond her, or the variations in the outline may indicate shifting positions in the course of Turner’s drawing, or a loose veil or scarf over the bonnet. At the top centre, fading out below the waist, is the profile of the head and body of a different woman, looking down to something held in her raised hands. The scallops and pleats of the first woman’s costume are particularly delicately rendered.
They may have been observed outdoors, watching the Cowes Regatta or waiting for water transport; compare the larger groups on folios 13 recto and 17 verso (D20615, D20621; Turner Bequest CCXXVI 12, 16a). For more on studies in this sketchbook relating to the regatta events from late July 1827 onwards, see the Introduction.

Matthew Imms
November 2015

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘Two Women in Bonnets, Possibly Watching the Cowes Regatta 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-two-women-in-bonnets-possibly-watching-the-cowes-regatta-r1183267, accessed 15 January 2021.