Joseph Mallord William Turner

Rocks off the Coast of Dunbar; Duddingston Loch; ?Eyemouth

1818

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Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 90 x 112 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D13498
Turner Bequest CLXVI 25 a

Catalogue entry

A sketch of the rocks off the coast of Dunbar fills the bottom half of this page and continues to folio 26 (D13499). The view is taken from the coast just to the east of Dunbar Harbour and looks out to sea towards the Bass Rock, which has been drawn again at the top of the page. A similar sketch appears in the Bass Rock and Edinburgh sketchbook (Tate D13362; Turner Bequest CLXV 22a), on which Turner has inscribed the names of the crags.
At the right of the page, drawn with the book turned to the right, are two small sketches separated from the main drawing with a pencil border. The top carried an inscription which Finberg has read as ‘Duddingston Cast[le]’, although there is no such thing.1 This may perhaps be Duddingston Loch, near Arthur’s Seat at the south of Edinburgh. Turner is likely to have visited the village of Duddingston when he sketched Craigmillar Castle with Revd John Thomson of Duddingston, who lived in the village.
Below this is a sketch of a harbour nestled in the cliffy banks of a river, probably the Firth of Forth, with boats in the harbour, and mountains in the distance. Janet Carolan has suggested Eyemouth as a possible location for this view.2

Thomas Ardill
December 2007

1
Finberg 1909, I, p.482, CLXVI 28a.
2
David Wallace-Hadrill, unpublished notes, [circa 1989–94], Tate catalogue files.

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