Joseph Mallord William Turner

Various Sketches and Inscriptions Including and Boat and Granton Castle


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 116 x 187 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856

Catalogue entry

Typical of Turner’s sketchbook practice the inside back cover of this book, which is turned to the left, has been used for rapidly executed sketches and inscriptions made at various points on his trip to Edinburgh in 1822. Like the inside front cover there is an inscription that records an address, though its significance is unknown. Most of the sketches are too rough to be identifiable. At the top of the page are two diagrams, one of which may be the stern of a ship. Beneath this a triangular shape may be a sail, and an arched doorway to its right bears a resemblance to the entrance of Portcullis Gate at Edinburgh Castle (see folio 41 verso; D17575). There is a light sketch of a sailing boat at the centre right of the page. While its hull is neglected Turner has paid attention to the set of its sails.
The bottom two sketches are clearer. Second from bottom is a rocky cliff-line, perhaps near Fast Castle on the Berwickshire coast, and at the bottom of the page is a view inscribed ‘Inchkeith’ showing the island from the east with Granton Castle in the foreground at the right. There are similar views on folios 36 and 59 (D17564, D17609).

Thomas Ardill
September 2008

Read full Catalogue entry

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