Joseph Mallord William Turner

Bothwell Castle Seen among Trees from the South


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 184 × 114 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest LVI 163 a

Catalogue entry

The subject is continued on folio 166 recto opposite (D03234; Turner Bequest LVI 164). Turner seems to have made no drawings between Stirling (see folios 150 verso–165 recto; D03203–D03232; Turner Bequest LVI 148a–163) and Bothwell, some twenty-three miles to the south, on the banks of the River Clyde north of Hamilton.
There are two further drawings of Bothwell Castle on folios 168 verso–170 recto (D03239–D03242; Turner Bequest LVI 166a–167, 167a–168), and two of the ruined Blantyre Abbey, immediately opposite on the left bank of the river, on folios 166 verso–168 recto (D03235–D03238; Turner Bequest LVI 164a–165, 165a–166).

The viewpoint here is from the south-east. Bothwell was begun in the late thirteenth century by Walter of Moray, and completed by the Earls of Douglas around 1400. It is by Scottish standards an unusual structure, having much in common with the large Welsh castles built by Edward I that Turner had repeatedly drawn during his Welsh tours of 1795, 1798 and 1799; see for example the 1795 South Wales sketchbook (Tate D00578; Turner Bequest XXVI 25). No finished views of Bothwell are known, however.

Andrew Wilton
May 2013

Read full Catalogue entry


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