Joseph Mallord William Turner

A Sketch Map

1831

View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 96 x 59 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D25685
Turner Bequest CCLXV 24 a

Catalogue entry

Turner’s inscription reads:
[...] House 
 
S. Port      Castle Mary 
             Roxbro 
             Light 
             Crailing 
             Qu[...] 
             M[...] 
Although some of the place names on this sketched map are discernible, it has not been possible to make sense of the whole. Several connected lines are likely to be rivers with towns or notable places marked with circles or dots. David Wallace-Hadrill has read one of the words as ‘Roxbro’, meaning Roxburgh,1 suggesting that this is a map of the rivers Teviot and Tweed in Roxburghshire. With this in mind, Janet Carolan, adding notes to Wallace-Hadrill’s, suggested that one of the inscriptions could refer to Floors Castle near Kelso.2 Another inscription could read ‘Castle Mary’, referring to one of the many castles in Scotland associated with Mary Queen of Scots.
Unfortunately, Turner’s unclear drawing and poor handwriting mean that the rest of the map has not been deciphered and as a whole it is still not understood.

Thomas Ardill
September 2009

1
David Wallace-Hadrill, ‘Berwick CCLXV checklist’, [circa 1992], Tate catalogue files.
2
Ibid.

Read full Catalogue entry

You might like