Joseph Mallord William Turner

Bothwell Castle, from the South-East


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 113 x 190 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXIX 29

Catalogue entry

This is the second in a series of sketches of Bothwell Castle that Turner made as he walked away from the ruin towards the town of Bothwell along the River Clyde: folios 28 verso–30 verso (D26314–D26318). Like folio 28 verso, this sketch is from the south-east, but now from a little further south from a vantage point where more of the castle is visible. Turner seems to have preferred the view and therefore spent longer over his sketch, drawing the castle more carefully and adding more detail in the trees and the riverbank. The tower at the left of the castle is the donjon (or keep) and the one at the right is the south-east tower. Turner may have been familiar with this view of the castle from an illustration in Charles Tilt’s Landscape Illustrations of the Waverley Novels, with Descriptions of the Views.1
For a full list of Turner’s sketches of Bothwell Castle see folio 26 (D26309).

Thomas Ardill
October 2010

The engraving by Edward Francis Finden after Ramsay Richard Reinagle illustrates Sir Walter Scott’s novel, Old Mortality, 1816 in Charles Tilt’s Landscape Illustrations of the Waverley Novels, with Descriptions of the Views, 2 vols, London 1832, vol.1 facing p.24. Turner had been commissioned by Robert Cadell to illustrate a proposed new edition to the Waverley Novels. Cadell consulted Tilt’s book before choosing the subjects of his illustrations and may have shown it to Turner when they discussed the illustrations to the new edition. (Robert Cadell, Diary, 21 August 1834, National Library of Scotland, MS21024, folio 37).

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