Joseph Mallord William Turner

Bamburgh Castle and Coast


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 187 × 114 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CC 82 a

Catalogue entry

Rather than a view of Bamburgh Castle, as A.J. Finberg and Gerald Finley have suggested, these sketches in fact show Holy Island and the Farne Islands from a point close to Bamburgh.
Holy Island is seen from the south-east in the sketch at the top of the page from a point near the coast around Bamburgh Castle. Lindisfarne Castle sits at its south-eastern corner on a crag of rock and just in front of it and the island is Guile Point, a spit of land sitting to the south. At the left of the picture is the coastline around Budle Point, about four miles south of Holy Island. The third sketch down shows a similar view, with a little more clarity given to the few buildings and boats at Budle Bay.
In the centre of the page is a view of Lindisfarne Castle on Holy Island seen from closer to from the north-east, and at the bottom of the page is a rather carefully drawn and detailed study of the castle from the south, with the south-east corner of Holy Island, known as Castle Point, at the right of the drawing. (See folios 4 verso and 82; D17515, D17652 for further views of Holy Island).
The other two sketches on the page are of the Farne Islands, with the second-from-bottom sketch probably showing the Inner Farne with its lighthouse at the left and behind it to the right the West and East Wideopen islands, with an old lighthouse or beacon on one of them. The view is from the south. (See folio 82, and folio 86; D17660, for more sketches of the Farne Islands.)

Thomas Ardill
August 2008

Read full Catalogue entry

You might like

In the shop