Joseph Mallord William Turner

Bridge and Hills, ?Aberfoyle


Not on display

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 184 × 119 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXXII 39

Catalogue entry

David Wallace-Hadrill and Janet Carolan have argued that the sketches on this page were made at Cromlix Bridge over the Allan Water, near the village of Kinbuck near Dunblane.1 Their argument rests on Turner’s inscriptions which they read as ‘15 to Cand’ and ‘...mound’. They interpret these as references to Cromlix and Drummond, the name of the family which owned Cromlix House. While the bridge depicted in the second and bottom sketch does resemble Cromlix Bridge, and the hills in the sketch could possibly be those to the south, Wallace-Hadrill and Carolan’s argument is based on a suggested itinerary for Turner that has since been revised, making a visit to Kinbuck even more of a detour than the authors have suggested. The present author also doubts the reading of any of Turner’s inscriptions as ‘mound’.
An alternative location for these sketches is the bridge over the River Forth at Aberfoyle. The town is about eleven miles from Callander by the most direct route, or closer to fifteen miles via Loch Vennachar and Loch Achray, to the eastern end of Loch Katrine and south down the Duke’s Pass to Aberfoyle, which was Turner’s possible route around the Trossachs in 1834: see folio 39 verso (D27779; CCLXXII 7). This could explain the inscription at the bottom of the page – ‘15 to Cand’ – which may mean fifteen miles to Callander. The hills to the west of Aberfoyle, including Craigmore, Ben Venue and Ben Lomond in the distance, which make a better match for the hills in these sketches.

Thomas Ardill
February 2011

Wallace-Hadrill and Carolan 1990, p.25.

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