Joseph Mallord William Turner

Buildings: The Calton Gaol and Edinburgh High Street


Not on display

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 99 × 159 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXV 63

Catalogue entry

The ‘buildings’, as Finberg described them, may be identifiable when compared to other sketches made by Turner in this and the other Scottish sketchbooks of 1818.1 When it is compare to sketches on folios 63 verso and 64 verso (D13434, D13436; CLXV 61a, 62a), the building on the right has a similarity to the Governor’s House of Calton Gaol on Calton Hill. This version shows the castellated towers visible in folio 64 verso, and the archway that can be seen in folio 63 verso. The sketch on the left may show one of the well heads on Edinburgh High Street, which Turner drew in the Scotch Antiquities sketchbook (Tate D13695; Turner Bequest CLXVII 61a), and included in his view of Heriot’s Hospital for the Provincial Antiquities. The shops behind it have notes inscribed on them, as with Turner’s other views of the High Street: (52 verso, D13412, CLXV 50a; Scotch Antiquities Tate D13697, D13701–D13702, D13708; CLXVII 62, 64a, 65, 68) and Grassmarket: (folio 49 verso; D13410; CLXV 49a).
This sketch, drawn right up to the edge of the page, looks like a continuation of a drawing from another sheet, but, considering that this is not the bound edge, is unlikely to be unless it is continued from another sketchbook or loose sheet.

Thomas Ardill
November 2007

Finberg 1909, I, p.480, CLXV 63.

Read full Catalogue entry

You might like

In the shop