Joseph Mallord William Turner

Ben Nevis from the Caledonian Canal to the West


Not on display

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 150 × 184 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXXVI 3

Catalogue entry

The three sketches on this page have been identified as views of Ben Nevis from the Caledonian Canal just north of Corpach near Fort William.1 The canal took Turner from Loch Linnhe to Inverness. The sketches on this page were made shortly after Turner’s boat had reached the top of the series of locks near Corpach known as Neptune’s Staircase (folio 2; D26967), at the southern end of the canal.
At the top, drawn parallel with the fore-edge of the page, Turner made a view looking south towards Corpach with the canal engine house. In the distance are the foothills of Ben Nevis and Aonach Mòr. For the second sketch he turned to the south-east to look towards ‘Glen’ Nevis with the rooftops of Fort William beneath. The sketch at the bottom of the page is inscribed ‘Nevis’ and looks towards Ben Nevis to the east, although the summit of the mountain is obscured by cloud or mist. There are further sketches of the mountain on folios 2 and 4 (D26969).
Identifications by David Wallace-Hadrill and Janet Carolan, ‘Turner’s 1831 Sketchbook T.B. CCLXXVI Fort Augustus’, [circa 1992–3], Tate catalogue files, [unpaginated].

Thomas Ardill
April 2010

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