Joseph Mallord William Turner Roslin Castle 1818

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Artwork details

Roslin Castle
From Scotch Antiquities Sketchbook
Turner Bequest CLXVII
Date 1818
Medium Graphite on paper
Dimensions Support: 112 x 186 mm
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXVII 69 a
View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Catalogue entry

From across Roslin Glen to the south, this sketch shows Roslin Castle perched at the top of a deep gorge with copse-covered cliffs descending into the river below. Rosslyn Chapel can be seen behind the castle to the right. The castle is a mixture of ruinous and habitable parts. The five-storey East Range was converted in the 1770s into a house with a gabled roof, and is still habitable today. In contrast the keep – visible behind the East Range – and the Gatehouse at the right are ruined shells.
Despite being one of the subjects of the Provincial Antiquities Turner did not make sketches specifically of Roslin (or Rosslyn) Chapel in 1818, although he did sketch its interior (Edinburgh, 1818 sketchbook, Tate D13561; Turner Bequest CLXVI 58) and had made drawings in 1801. The chapel, however, does appear in several drawings of Roslin Castle (folios 69, 80, 80 verso and 82; D13704, D13716, D13717, D13720; CLXVII 66, 72, 72a, 74). At the top left of the page can be seen the northernmost part of the Pentland Hills.

Thomas Ardill
March 2008

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