Joseph Mallord William Turner

Study for a View of Edinburgh

c.1801–4

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

Medium
Chalk on paper
Dimensions
Support: 271 x 436 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D05066
Turner Bequest LXXXI 164

Catalogue entry

Drawn with the page turned horizontally, this is perhaps a preliminary idea for the large watercolour of Edinburgh from Caulton–hill, exhibited in 1804 (Tate D03639; Turner Bequest LX H),1 or for the unexecuted ‘Edinburgh from above Duddingston’ (compare the watercolour in the National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin).2 However, a more likely interpretation is that it is a view of the city from St Anthony’s Chapel, on the slopes of Arthur’s Seat, based on sketches in the 1801 Edinburgh sketchbook (Tate D02816–D02819; Turner Bequest LV 4a–5, 5a–6).
Another study of the same view, similarly confined to the disposition of broad tonal masses, is on folio 84 verso (D05068; Turner Bequest LXXXI 166).

Andrew Wilton
May 2013

1
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.339 no.348, pl.56.
2
Ibid., p.336 no.320, reproduced.

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