Carisbrook Castle Isle of Wight William Turner Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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Turner takes on Carisbrook Castle from a fairly traditional view point in this painting, directly in front of the imposing front gates.

We find a light array of clouds in the sky behind the castle, along with a small rainbow that appears from the left. The whole seen is draped in sunlight, making this a particularly upbeat artwork, with Turner allowing us to view every detail of the craftsmanship on the castle. We can spot many engraved elements to the architecture and also see a number of figures making their way inside. They travel on horseback , perhaps having travelled from another part of the island in order to get here. That said, the Isle of Wight is a relatively small island, and you would have been able to travel on horseback to any part of the island within a matter of just an hour or two.

This was an artist who was drawn to castles, right across the UK. He would travel especially just to appreciate their beauty and would often spend time finding different angles from which to view their complex constructions. Besides this painting of Carisbrook Castle, he also produced complex depictions of Dolbadarn Castle, Norham Castle, Warkworth Castle, Conway Castle, Arundel Castle and Caernarvon Castle, to name just a few. We forget that at this time in British history there were many more castles than there are today, with many having been lost to the elements in recent centuries. They are typically British in style and perhaps their charm is what attracted him to these mighty structures.

The Isle of Wight has provided inspiration for a number of British artists over the centuries and Turner himself visited the island several times. He would often complete drawings whilst outdoors, before completing paintings from the comfort of his own studio. Two other paintings that he completed here were View from the Terrace of a Villa at Niton, Isle of Wight and Cowes, Isle of Wight. He found a lot of interest in the town of Cowes which lies on the northern tip of the island, but also travelled around extensively, seeking out interesting architecture and also different views of the natural landscape.