Joseph Mallord William TurnerCastle, Sound of Mull 1831

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Artwork details

Castle, Sound of Mull
From Sound of Mull (?) No. 1 Sketchbook
Turner Bequest CCLXXIV
Date 1831
MediumGraphite on paper
Dimensionssupport: 153 x 91 mm
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXXIV 7 a
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Catalogue entry

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 7 Verso:
Castle, Sound of Mull 1831
Turner Bequest CCLXXIV 7a
Pencil on white wove paper, 153 x 91 mm
Stamped in black ‘CCLXXIV – 7a’ top right inverted
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
David Wallace-Hadrill and Janet Carolan have suggested that this sketch probably depicts Duart Castle on the Isle of Mull.1 Duart is depicted on folios 4 verso–5 verso (D26943–D26945), and this sketch similarly shows a ruin, perhaps on a promontory, with hills behind it. However, it is difficult to identify sketches of Duart Castle as the ruin has been rebuilt considerably since Turner saw it. Another possibility is Aros Castle, which lies about thirteen miles away to the north-west along the Sound of Mull. The shape of the ruin, especially in the top left sketch, resembles William Daniell’s depiction of the castle, though from the opposite direction (Arros Castle, Isle of Mull 1813–23, aquatint, Tate T02809), and the bottom sketch bears a resemblance to the castle inscribed ‘Aros’ on folio 10 verso and the inside back cover (D26954, D41020), though it has a stronger resemblance to the sketch on folio 4 verso (D26943). The identification therefore remains uncertain.

Thomas Ardill
February 2010

David Wallace-Hadrill and Janet Carolan, ‘Turner on the Isle of Skye 1831’, [circa 1991], Tate catalogue files, [folio 5].

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