Joseph Mallord William Turner

Barr-nam-boc Bay, Kerrera

1831

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 116 x 186 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D26863
Turner Bequest CCLXXIII 62 a

Catalogue entry

Turner’s inscription, ‘Barnabouk’, written upside-down at the bottom right of the page, has helped to identify the sketches on folios 62–63 (D26862–D26864) as a Barr-nam-boc Bay at the west of the island of Kerrera.1 Turner’s version of the name comes from the nearby farm which is written ‘Barnabuck’. The bay was then the main terminus for the ferry to Mull, and although Turner could have crossed over to Mull from here, David Wallace-Hadrill and Janet Carolan argue that he first returned to Oban.2 While on Kerrera, Turner also visited Gylen Castle at the south of the Island (folios 63 verso–75 verso; D26865–D26889).
The present sketch was made from the south and looks north across the bay to the hills that surround it. The buildings on the shoreline indicate that Barr-nam-boc was more built up in 1831 than it is today, and Turner has included in the foreground two figures that may have be waiting for the ferry to Mull. At the top of the page with the sketchbook inverted is another sketch looking along a shoreline; this may also be Kerrera.

Thomas Ardill
February 2010

1
David Wallace-Hadrill and Janet Carolan made this connection in Wallace-Hadrill and Carolan 1991, p.27.
2
Wallace-Hadrill and Carolan 1991, p.20, see the route marked on the map.

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