Joseph Mallord William TurnerSketches Looking South Down the Firth of Lorn and Towards Mull from the Firth of Lorn 1831

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Artwork details

Artist
Title
Sketches Looking South Down the Firth of Lorn and Towards Mull from the Firth of Lorn
From Staffa Sketchbook
Turner Bequest CCLXXIII
Date 1831
MediumGraphite on paper
Dimensionssupport: 116 x 186 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D26850
Turner Bequest CCLXXIII 56
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Catalogue entry

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 56 Recto:
Sketches Looking South Down the Firth of Lorn and Towards Mull from the Firth of Lorn 1831
D26850
Turner Bequest CCLXXIII 56
Pencil on white wove paper, 116 x 186 mm
Inscribed in pencil by Turner ‘Jura’ top centre, ‘Colonsa’ top centre right, ‘mull’ top right, ‘Kerrera’ upper left, and ‘mull’ centre
Inscribed in blue ink by John Ruskin ‘56’ top left running vertically
Stamped in black ‘CCLXXIII 56’ top right running vertically
 
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
The four sketches on this page were made as Turner crossed the Firth of Lorn on his way to Oban, having travelled down the Sound of Mull from Tobermory (a trip recorded in sketches over folios 48–57; D26833–D26852).1
At the top of the page Turner sketched the view south down the Firth of Lorn. With the coast of ‘Mull’ at the far right and Argyll at the left, we look towards the Garvellach islands, which are shaded with the island of Colonsay (inscribed ‘Colonsa’) to the right. In the distance is one of the peaks of the island of ‘Jura’. The artist turned to the south-east for the next sketch, which looks down the west coast of the island of ‘Kerrera’, which Turner visited and made sketches of elsewhere in this sketchbook (folios 62–76; D26862–D26890).
For the third and fourth sketches the artist turned back to the west to draw the Isle of Mull. Wallace-Hadrill and Carolan claim that the third sketch includes Duart Castle,2 which would be at the right, though the present author cannot make it out. However, the mountains of Dùn da Ghaoithe at the right and Chreach Beinn at the left are easily identifiable. Mull is seen again in the bottom sketch, this time from slightly further off.

Thomas Ardill
March 2010

1
Identified by David Wallace-Hadrill and Janet Carolan, ‘Turner on Mull and Staffa’, [circa 1991], Tate catalogue files, [folios 15, 21].
2
Ibid.

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