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.
Visit From Your Armchair
Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize
An online exhibition celebrating the very best in contemporary portrait photography.
Explore our community photography project, which presents a personal record of the UK during lockdown.
Sculptures in 360°
See sculptures and fascinating objects from our Collection from all angles.
David Hockney: Drawing from Life
Watch highlights from our special exhibition, which had to close early in March 2020 due to lockdown.
Tell us more
Framed & unframed prints
Choose your favourite portrait from our Collection as a framed or unframed print for your home.