J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours

Joseph Mallord William Turner Mr Fraser of Foyers's Bridge over the Upper Fall of Foyers 1831

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 40 Recto:
Mr Fraser of Foyers’s Bridge over the Upper Fall of Foyers 1831
D27033
Turner Bequest CCLXXVI 40
Pencil on off-white laid writing paper, 150 x 180 mm irregular
Inscribed in red ink by John Ruskin ‘40’ top left running vertically
Stamped in black ‘CCLXXVI 40’ top right running vertically
 
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
The narrow, single-arched bridge depicted in this sketch has been identified as the bridge that Mr Fraser of Foyers built over the River Foyers near Loch Ness just above the upper waterfall.1 Turner made two further sketches of the bridge (folios 30 verso–31, and folios 40 verso–41; D27019–D27020, D27034–D27035) and various sketches from the top of the waterfalls and from further down (see folio 40 verso for references).
Turner was not the only person to recognise the romantic beauty of this spot. Sarah Murray described the scene in 1799 ‘as truly picturesque and very romantic, as well as beautiful’, and steamboat passengers travelling up Loch Ness were advised to see the Falls from the bridge.2

Thomas Ardill
April 2010

1
This sketch was identified by David Wallace-Hadrill and Janet Carolan, ‘Turner’s 1831 Sketchbook T.B. CCLXXVI Fort Augustus’, [circa 1992–3], Tate catalogue files, [unpaginated].
2
Sarah Murray, A Companion and Useful Guide to the Beauties of Scotland, London 1799, p.246; and James Lumsden and Son, Lumsden and Son’s Steamboat Companion; or Stranger’s Guide to the Western Isles and Highlands of Scotland, Glasgow 1839, pp.161–2.

How to cite

Thomas Ardill, ‘Mr Fraser of Foyers’s Bridge over the Upper Fall of Foyers 1831 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, April 2010, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, December 2012, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-mr-fraser-of-foyerss-bridge-over-the-upper-fall-of-foyers-r1135398, accessed 23 May 2015.