4 of 43 portraits of J.M.W. Turner
- Extended Catalogue Entry
by Charles West Cope
oil on card, circa 1828
6 1/4 in. x 5 1/8 in. (159 mm x 130 mm)
Given by the artist's son, Sir Arthur Stockdale Cope, 1938
Sitterback to top
- Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851), Landscape painter. Sitter associated with 43 portraits, Artist associated with 4 portraits.
Artistback to top
- Charles West Cope (1811-1890), History painter. Artist of 25 portraits, Sitter in 6 portraits.
This portraitback to top
A precocious and prolific artist, Turner's early oil paintings reflect the influence of Claude and Poussin and his later landscapes are remarkable for their dazzling effects of light and colour. This portrait of him was painted by Charles West Copein 1837. It depicts Turner at the British Institution working on his painting, Regulus (now Tate). A much later description by Cope’s son, the artist Sir Arthur Stockdale Cope, is not wholly accurate. He called it 'a little oil sketch painted by my father...when he was a student, of Turner at work on a picture of his own, in one of the empty rooms of the RA Schools with some of the porters or sweepers looking on. He used to do this when he was a 'Visitor' in the Schools. Being a bit of a pincher, he did not wish to forego the fees that were then paid for the teaching Visitors gave to the students, but spent most of his time there in the manner depicted'.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Holmes, Richard; Crane, David; Woof, Robert; Hebron, Stephen, Romantics and Revolutionaries: Regency portraits from the National Portrait Gallery, 2002, p. 75
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 626
Events of 1828back to top
Current affairsDuke of Wellington becomes Prime Minister.
Madhouse Act attempts to regulate asylums and ensure new arrivals are genuinely insane.
Repeal of the Test Acts removes political restrictions from dissenters, allowing them to hold public office.
Art and scienceLondon Zoological Gardens open in Regent's Park. They provide both entertainment and a supply of exotic specimens for naturalists and anatomists such as Richard Owen who becomes a European authority on the subject.
InternationalDaniel O'Connell is elected Member of Parliament for County Clare but as a Catholic is not permitted to take his seat.
Become a Member
Enjoy access to special events, discounts on the Gallery online shop, supporters’ updates and much more
Bringing people together by sharing the portraits and stories of the men and women who have shaped our nation.
Sign up to receive information on exhibitions, collections and activities of the National Portrait Gallery, including special offers, shop products, and exclusive competitions.
Tell us more
Framed & unframed prints