Joseph Mallord William Turner

Roslin Castle

1818

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

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
D13500
Turner Bequest CLXVI 26 a

Catalogue entry

Drawn with the book inverted, this view of Roslin Castle from the glen, along with a similar composition in the Scotch Antiquities sketchbook (Tate D13704; Turner Bequest CLXVII 66), provide the composition for Turner’s watercolour illustration of Roslin Castle, circa 1820 (Indianapolis Museum of Art),1 for the Provincial Antiquities. From the far side of the glen we look across the stream to a high bank on top of which the castle sits. There are large boulders in the water in the foreground, and on the right is a gap in the rocks which is shown in the final design to be a waterfall. The castle itself is simply drawn, and adjustments have been made to the relative size of its parts in the illustration. Although this sketch may have acted as a plan for the compositional layout for his watercolour, the details of the architecture and surrounding landscape derive from other sketches, such as folio 65 verso (D13576) in this sketchbook showing the East Range, and a sketch in the Scotch Antiquities sketchbook (Tate D13704; Turner Bequest CLXVII 66), which shows the castle and glen.

Thomas Ardill
December 2007

1
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.426 no.1065.

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