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

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 112 x 186 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXVII 52 a

Catalogue entry

Continued from folio 56 (D13679; CLXVII 53) is one of the sketches of Linlithgow Palace from the north-east that formed the basis of Turner’s watercolour, Linlithgow Palace, 1821 (Manchester City Galleries) for the Provincial Antiquities.1 On the present page is the view across Linlithgow Loch to the south, where there are several building dotted around the bank. The two trees in the centre of the page can be seen at the right of the middle sketch on folio 56 verso (D13680; CLXVII 53a) where they frame the composition, and are used by Turner in the final design.
At the lower left of the page is a small area of pale grey-brown watercolour, partially applied with a brush, and partially streaked or splashed across the page, perhaps by accident. Just as there are dabs of red watercolour on folios 48 verso to 49 (D13666–D13667; CLXVII 46a–47), which probably occurred when Turner was painting a watercolour study of the east side of Linlithgow Palace (Tate D25325; Turner Bequest CCLXIII 203) based on drawings on nearby sketchbook pages, so the marks on this page may have occurred when he referred to it to paint the watercolour of Linlithgow Palace. The colour matches parts of the loch in that painting, and Turner may have been testing the colour on this sketch before applying it to the painting. There are various small marks on this and the opposite page that attest to it having been referred to by Turner, and subsequently by a number of scholars.

Thomas Ardill
March 2008

Wilton 1979, p.426 under no.1068.

Read full Catalogue entry

You might like