Joseph Mallord William Turner

Aros Castle, Sound of Mull; and Broadford Bay, Scalpay and Longay from the East


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 201 × 125 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXX 86

Catalogue entry

David Wallace-Hadrill and Janet Carolan have given two suggestions for the identification of the sketch at the top of the page. The suggestion that they pursued in their unpublished article on Turner’s visit to Skye was Knock Castle (also called Castle Camus) on Sleat (see folio 78; D26590 for further references).1 There is a similar sketch on folio 92 verso (D26618) that is inscribed ‘Knock’. Elsewhere in his notes, Wallace-Hadrill made the tentative identification: ‘Aros? Prob not’. The current author, however, believes that this probably is Aros Castle as the inscription looks much more like ‘arros’ than ‘knock’ and the sketch bears a close resemblance to further views of the castle on folios 42 verso–43 and 47 verso of this sketchbook (D26519–D26520, D26529), and a sketch in the Mull no.1 sketchbook (Tate D26954; Turner Bequest CCLXXIV 10a).
The second sketch (which continues on folio 85 verso; D26604) is inscribed ‘Scalpa Neck of Broadford Bay Longay’ which tells us exactly what this sketch is of. The view is from the east of Broadford Bay and looks along the coast towards the bay (at the far left), with the island of Scalpay to the right and the island of Longay to the right of that. The distinctive peak of Beinn na Caillich can be seen at the right of the sketch on the present page. Folio 85 verso carries another sketch, inscribed ‘Sound of Scalpa’, which must refer to Loch Na Cairich between the island of Scalpay and the mainland. For further sketches of Broadford Bay see folio 12 (D26458).

Thomas Ardill
March 2010

David Wallace-Hadrill and Janet Carolan, ‘Turner on the Isle of Skye 1831’, [circa 1991], Tate catalogue files, [folio 12].

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