This page contains the first (according to the folio order of this sketchbook) in a series of sketches of Ben Venue from across Loch Katrine to the north. This series culminates in the sketch on folio 47 (D26528) which formed the basis of Turner’s watercolour, Loch Katrine circa 1832 (British Museum),1 engraved to illustrate volume 8 of Sir Walter Scott’s Poetical Works, The Lady of the Lake in 1834. Other views are on folios 36, 36 verso, 45 verso–46 verso and 48 (D26506, D26507, D26525–D26527, D26530). Ben Venue was also sketched from other points along the loch in this sketchbook (see folio 47 for further references).
Having travelled east along the loch from Stronachlachar (folio 22 verso; D26479) to the landing at the east end (folio 27; D26488), Turner must have ascended the slopes along the northern side of the loch at the foot of Ben A’an above the Silver Strand to take these views. The east end of the loch is seen at the left of the present sketch, with Ellen’s Island (Eilean Molach) at the centre of the page. This was the location for much of Scott’s Lady of the Lake, hence Turner’s interest in it. Like the other sketches of Ben Venue from across the loch, Turner took a good deal of care to record the shape and character of the mountain and the surrounding landscape.
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.1084 no.1084.