Joseph Mallord William Turner

Ben Venue From Across Loch Katrine; and the Silver Strand


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 125 × 201 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXX 45 a

Catalogue entry

This is one of three sketches (along with folios 46 verso and 47; D26527, D26528) that contributed to Turner’s watercolour, Loch Katrine circa 1832 (British Museum),1 which was engraved in 1834 to illustrate the eighth volume of Sir Walter Scott’s Poetical Works, The Lady of the Lake.
Although folio 47 comes closest to the composition of the final design, the present sketch, with its careful and detailed depiction of Ben Venue and the island and headland in the foreground, must have also been referred to by Turner when he came to paint his picture. The artist recorded the peaks and slopes of Ben Venue with a combination of careful delineations of the profile and outlines, and various types of hatching (including parallel hatches, zigzag lines and calligraphic squiggles), to show areas of shade that emphasise the shape and character of the mountain.
Smaller sketches at the top and bottom of the page are of views nearby. At the top is a thumbnail sketch of a bay which may be inscribed ‘strand’, indicating that it is in the Silver Strand beach at the north shore of the loch towards the east end. At the bottom right of the page is a sketch that appears to show Ellen’s Island again, though this time perhaps seen from the water and looking north. To the left of this is a horizontal line interrupted by an inscription that looks like ‘sand’, perhaps showing the Silver Strand again.
For more information on Turner’s visit to Loch Katrine, and references to his other sketches, see folio 47.

Thomas Ardill
October 2009

Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.429 no.1084.

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