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 37 a

Catalogue entry

The drawings on this page and the next (folio 38; D13387; CLXV 38) are the most frequently cited examples of Turner’s studies of Bass Rock which he illustrated for Scott’s Provincial Antiquities: Bass Rock, circa 1824 (watercolour, Lady Lever Art Gallery, Port Sunlight).1 This sketchbook includes numerous examples with views from the east, south and west, made both from the shore and from a boat. This view shows the rock from the south-west with the fortifications on the south side where the lighthouse now stands. The island itself is roughly sketched, but Turner has concentrated on the fortifications, showing the steps down to the sea that have been cut into the rock. These details would not have been clear from the shore, so it is likely that Turner made this sketch from a boat that he hired to sail him around the island. Several details of the fortifications are made earlier in this sketchbook (folios 7–8; D13333–D13335; CLXV 7–8).

Thomas Ardill
October 2007

Wilton1979, p.426 no.1069.

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