Joseph Mallord William Turner

Alloa From the Firth of Forth


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 101 × 158 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXXI 21

Catalogue entry

The two sketches on this page are both of the town of Alloa near Stirling, as seen from a boat on the Firth of Forth.1 With the sketchbook turned to the left, the sketch at the top of the page is labelled ‘alloa’, and shows the town at the left of the sketch with the slender spire of St Mungo’s Church marked with a dark line. At the right of the sketch is Clackmannan Tower, with the Orchil Hills making up a backdrop. The second sketch, made with the book inverted, shows almost the same view, though now more of Alloa has come into sight, including boats in the harbour. Clackmannan Tower can no longer be seen, and dark rain clouds above the scene cast shadows onto the hills below. Further signs of bad weather over the Forth are seen on folios 20 verso, 22, 24 and the inside back cover of the sketchbook (D26658, D26661, D26666, D41132). A sketch at the top of folio 21 verso (D26660) contains a similar view of Alloa.
At the head of the page, a continuation of a sketch on folio 20 verso (D26658) overlaps one of the sketches.

Thomas Ardill
October 2009

Dr David Wallace-Hadrill and Janet Carolan, ‘Turner’s Sketches North of Stirling’, Turner Studies: His Art and Epoch 1775–1851, Summer 1990 vol.10 no.1, p.16.

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