Joseph Mallord William Turner

Mr Fraser of Foyers’s Bridge over the Upper Fall of Foyers


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

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 180 x 150 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXXVI 40 a

Catalogue entry

On this page is a sketch of the Falls of Foyers which are situated about halfway up the eastern shore of Loch Ness. The present view looks south to the Upper Fall as its crashes below an arched bridge into a pool near Glenlia. There are two or three figures on the bridge and by the large boulder to the left. These must be fellow tourists. A visit to the falls was a scheduled stop on the steamboat journey north up Loch Ness. Turner, like other tourists, seems to have followed closely the advice of the Steamboat Companion during this visit:
A romantic bridge has been thrown across the river by Mr. Fraser of Foyers, from which [the waterfall] is well seen; but strangers not being satisfied with this view, generally scramble down the steep banks to the rocks below, where this admirable “demonstration of Nature’s power” is seen in perfection.1
Turner accordingly made sketches from the top and bottom of the upper and lower Falls of Foyers, as well as making views across Loch Ness from the top of the falls, and views of the falls from Foyers Bay. His sketches are on folios 22–27, 29 verso, 30 verso, 33, 34, and 39 verso–43 (D27004–D27014, D27017, D27019, D27024, D27026, D27032–D27039).2 Further views of this arched bridge are on folios 30 verso–31 and 40. The current sketch may continue at the right on folio 41.

Thomas Ardill
April 2010

James Lumsden and Son, Lumsden and Son’s Steamboat Companion; or Stranger’s Guide to the Western Isles and Highlands of Scotland, Glasgow 1839, pp.161–2.
Many of these were identified by David Wallace-Hadrill and Janet Carolan, ‘Turner’s 1831 Sketchbook T.B. CCLXXVI Fort Augustus’, [circa 1992–3], Tate catalogue files, [unpaginated].

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