Joseph Mallord William Turner

Dumbarton Rock; and a Sketch of the Cuillins from Ord on Skye


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Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 125 x 201 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXX 82 a

Catalogue entry

With the sketchbook turned to the left, this view of Dumbarton Rock shows the northern end of the rock from a boat in the River Leven. At the left above the castle ramparts are the Magazine, and to the right of this is the French prison. Turner drew these buildings again above this sketch. There are further sketches of the castle on folios 67, 71 verso and 72 (D26568, D26577, D26578) and in the Loch Long sketchbook (inside front cover; Tate D41131).
At the top of the page is a sketch, inscribed ‘Skye’, which has been identified as a view from Ord across Loch Eishort towards the Cuillins mountain range.1 The rounded mountain at the right may be Beinn na Caillich, with the jagged Black Cuillins to the left. Turner reached Ord from the footpath that crosses the Sleat peninsula from just north of Knock Bay, after having sketched Knock Castle (folio 78; D26590). From here he travelled south to Tokavaig where he sketched Dun Sgathaich – also called Dun Scaith and other variations – (see folio 87 verso; D26608), and then crossed Loch Eishort and Slapin to Elgol and onto Loch Coruisk.2

Thomas Ardill
October 2009

David Wallace-Hadrill and Janet Carolan, ‘Turner on the Isle of Skye 1831’, [circa 1991], Tate catalogue files, [folio 13].

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