Joseph Mallord William Turner

Arthur’s Seat


Not on display

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 99 × 159 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXV 46 a

Catalogue entry

Arthur’s Seat is here seen from the south near Braid Hill and was probably drawn on the same occasion that Turner sketched Edinburgh from Braid Hill, but from a spot slightly to the east of the hill (folios, 45 verso, 46; D13403, D13404; CLXV 45a, 46; and in the Edinburgh, 1818 Sketchbook, Tate D13570; Turner Bequest CLXVI 62a). Turner has used slight variations in the strength of his line to show strong outlines, such as the profile of the hills, and subtle details to show its shape and rotundity. The effect is achieved with the utmost economy, with no shading or hatching, and no topographical information besides what is directly relevant. The step-shapes to the left probably represent houses in the shadow of the hill.

Thomas Ardill
November 2007

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