Joseph Mallord William Turner

Aros Castle, Sound of Mull


Not on display

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 91 × 153 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856

Catalogue entry

David Wallace-Hadrill and Janet Carolan have identified these two sketches of a ruin, and another sketch of a rocky shoreline, as Aros Castle near Salen on Mull, as seen from the Sound of Mull to the south-east.1 The suggestion is persuasive considering the sketches of Aros opposite these on folio 10 verso (D26954), and if the inscription is read as a variation of the name, such as ‘Arossa’, as the authors’ suggest. Due to the irregular shape of the ruins, the castle, in the present sketches, has quite a different shape to folio 10 verso. However, a sketch in the Staffa sketchbook, inscribed ‘Arros’, confirms that this is indeed the same castle (Tate D26839; Turner Bequest CCLXXIII 50a).
Across the centre of the page, Aros Castle is seen standing on a headland on the Sound of Mull to the south-east, with the crags of Sgiath Ruadh, or Sgiath Mhòr to the left. Turner drew the castle again in slightly more detail to the top left of this sketch, and at the top of the page is a view of what is probably the same Mull shoreline, but this time with the castle omitted.

Thomas Ardill
March 2010

David Wallace-Hadrill and Janet Carolan, ‘Turner on the Isle of Skye 1831’, [circa 1991], Tate catalogue files, [folios 6, 30.]

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