Joseph Mallord William Turner

Bothwell Castle from the South

1834

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 113 × 190 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D26318
Turner Bequest CCLXIX 30 a

Catalogue entry

This sketch, drawn with the sketchbook inverted, is the last in a series of sketches of Bothwell Castle on the River Clyde in Lanarkshire. The sequence begins on folio 26 (D26309) with close-up views from various angles, and ends with a series of sketches made as Turner walked south away from the castle towards Bothwell Bridge. From the shape of the river in the foreground it is possible to tell that the present view was taken from a point about half a mile south of the castle where the river turns to the east. Several faint vertical lines at the left of the picture indicate trees, demonstrating that Turner saw the scene from between a screen of trees. This was therefore Turner’s last view of the castle before he lost sight of it. The fact that he continued to sketch the castle until it fell out of view indicates his great interest in the subject and his continued search for a successful composition.
For further information on Turner’s visit to Bothwell Castle and references to his sketches of it see folio 26.

Thomas Ardill
October 2010

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