Joseph Mallord William Turner

Two views of Rosyth 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
D13544
Turner Bequest CLXVI 48 a

Catalogue entry

Over the present page and folio 49 (D13545) are three sketches of Rosyth Castle from different views. At the top of this page is a view of the castle from the north looking across the Forth towards the south bank where ‘Hopetoun’ House stands nearby. Below this is a view continuing on folio 49 of the castle looking east along the north bank of the Firth of Forth and across at the south bank with what may be Port Edgar indicated by a more heavily sketched area. The tide is out as, before the land was reclaimed to build docks in the early twentieth century, the castle was cut off during high tide. There is a final view from the east on folio 49.
There are various other inscriptions around the three Rosyth sketches, although they are rather obscure and probably do not all refer to the sketches on the page. Below the first sketch are some illegible words and then ‘1561’, presumably a date.1 At the top of folio 49 is inscribed ‘Gran’ which may refer to ‘Grangepans’, a harbour about 6 miles west on the southern bank. Three other inscriptions – ?‘lon’ this page left, ?‘com’ top of folio 49 ,and ?‘L[...]’ beneath it – remain enigmatic.
At the bottom left is the continuation of a sketch that probably shows Roslin Castle.

Thomas Ardill
January 2008

1
This may be an error referring to ‘1651’ the date that Oliver Cromwell’s army occupied the castle.

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