Joseph Mallord William Turner

Hermitage Castle, Lidderdale

1831

Not on display
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 114 x 187 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D25889
Turner Bequest CCLXVI 65

Catalogue entry

This view of Hermitage Castle from the south-east is similar to the sketch on folio 64 (D25887). Turner has used the Hermitage Water in the foreground to make the rather pastoral setting appear more wild and picturesque, contrasting the solidity of the castle with the fluidity of the water, and perhaps drawing an analogy between the castle ruins and the rugged rocks which both resist the forces of nature in the foreground. Turner painted a vignette of the subject to illustrate volume 4 of Sir Walter Scott’s Poetical Works: Hermitage Castle circa 1832 (watercolour, private collection).1 In this design Turner made the river into a prominent feature, and introduced dramatic, swirling clouds in the sky. The composition was based on folio 67 (D25893).

Thomas Ardill
September 2009

1
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.428 no.1077.

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