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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Yachts Sailing in the Solent off East Cowes; a Sunset 1827

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 79 Recto:
Yachts Sailing in the Solent off East Cowes; a Sunset 1827
D20731
Turner Bequest CCXXVI 81
Pencil on white wove paper, 192 x 112 mm
Partial watermark ‘R Bar | 18’
Inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘Red’, ‘Y’, ‘Yel’, ‘[?R]’ and ‘Yl’ at bottom across sky
Inscribed in pencil ‘CCXXVI 81’ top right, ascending vertically
Stamped in black ‘CCXXVI – 81’ top right, ascending vertically
 
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
The drawings were made in four bands with the page turned vertically. They show yachts under sail in choppy seas, and probably racing in the Solent in the first and third; what seems to be the profile of the East Cowes headland appears in the distance in the third view, seen to the east across the mouth of the River Medina. Squeezed in at the gutter is a spontaneous study of a sunset sky with clouds and rays of light, briefly annotated as alternately red and yellow.
For more on studies in this sketchbook relating to the regatta events at Cowes from late July 1827 onwards, see the Introduction.
Technical notes:
Except at the edges, formerly protected by a mount, the page has darkened through prolonged exposure while on tour in the Sixth Loan Collection. A manuscript note by Finberg in his 1909 Inventory recorded a ‘Leaf cut out’1 at the point in the sketchbook where this one, listed last in the published sequence, has subsequently been reattached.

Matthew Imms
November 2015

1
Undated MS note by Finberg (died 1939) in copy of Finberg 1909, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, II, p.697.

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘Yachts Sailing in the Solent off East Cowes; a Sunset 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-yachts-sailing-in-the-solent-off-east-cowes-a-sunset-r1183363, accessed 20 January 2021.