East Cowes Castle, the Seat of J. Nash, Esq., the Regatta Beating to Windward

Joseph Mallord William Turner (English, 1775-1851)

Currently on View in H211
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This canvas depicts the Royal Yacht Club races held off the Isle of Wight in 1827. From vantage points on shore and aboard a man-o-war moored in the English Channel, Turner made seventy drawings and eight oil sketches of the races. True to his usual practice, however, he did not rely on any single study for this canvas.

Clearly, Turner did not wish to merely record a race but to recreate the romantic pageant of vessels challenging the wind and waves. The atmospheric clarity and complex composition derive from Turner's study of 17th-century Dutch marine painting.

Commissioned by John Nash [1752-1835], owner of East Cowes Castle, Isle of Wight; Sale at (Christie’s, London) in 1835;{1} (Tiffin, London).{2} E. W. [Edward Wilson] Parker [died 1932], Skirwith Abbey, Cumberland; Sale at (Christie’s, London) in 1909;{3} bought jointly by Thomas Agnew & Sons, London, and M. Knoedler & Co.{4} Possibly W.[William] G. Warden, Philadelphia.{5} M.C. D. [Matthew Chalaver Durfee] Borden [1842-1912], Philadelphia; Sale at (American Art Association, New York) in 1913;{6} bought by W.W. Seaman, agent; Colonel Ambrose Monell [1873-1921].{7} Mrs. Harrison Williams [1897-1983], New York.{8} (Max Safron Galleries, St. Louis, Missouri);{9} purchased by Nicholas H. and Marguerite Lilly Noyes, Indianapolis, by 1955; {10} given to the Indianapolis Museum of Art in 1971 (71.32).

{1}Christie’s, London, A catalogue of the collection of chiefly modern pictures o f that eminent architect John Nash, Esq., deceased , 11 July 1835, lot 88.
{2}See Martin Butler and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, New Haven and London, 2 vols., 1977, cat. no. 242, who note that Tiffin was a dealer, possibly serving as agent.
{3}Christie’s, London, Catalogue of Ancient & Modern Pictures Four Important Pictures, the property of E.W. Parker, Esq., J.P. of Skirwith Abbey, Cumberland, 2 July 1909, lot 100 (ill.).
{4}The purchase by Agnew’s is recorded in “Sale of Important Pictures,” Times [London], 3 July 1909. For the joint purchase with Knoedler, see Butler and Joll, cat. no. 242.
{5}See Butler and Joll, cat. no. 242. This has not been verified.
{6}American Art Association, New York, Illustrated catalogue of the Notable Paintings by Great Masters belonging to the Estate of the Late M. C. D. Borden, Esq ,13-14 February 1913, lot. 29 (ill.).
{7}See Butler and Joll, cat. no. 242. This has not been verified.
{8}See Butler and Joll, cat. no. 242. This has not been verified.
{9}A black/white photograph of this painting appears in one of the albums of photographs of the Max Safron Collection, St. Louis Art Museum Archives. See IMA Provenance File (71.32).
{10}The painting was included in an exhibition at the John Herron Art Museum (now Indianapolis Museum of Art), Turner in America, 12 November - 25 December 1955, cat. no. 23 (ill.).

Object Information

Joseph Mallord William Turner (English, 1775-1851)
creation date
oil on canvas
35-1/2 x 47-1/2 in.
47-1/4 x 59-1/8 x 4-3/4 in. framed
accession number
credit line
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Nicholas Noyes
Public Domain
European Painting and Sculpture 1800-1945

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