Joseph Mallord William Turner

Caerlaverock Castle


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 114 × 187 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXVI 50 a

Catalogue entry

This sketch depicts the north-east corner of Caerlaverock Castle, and echoes the north-west view on folio 49 verso (D25858). However, the eastern curtain wall on this side is much less complete than the western wall, and only the base of the south-east tower still stands. Turner has shaded part of the nearest tower to emphasise its cylindrical shape, with the light coming from the west in this sketch and in Turner’s watercolour: Caerlaverock Castle circa 1832 (Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museums),1 which also shows the moon and its reflection in the mouth of the River Nith in the distance. This suggests that Turner visited Caerlaverock in the early evening. Above the main sketch is an outline of some of the buildings inside the castle seen above the east curtain wall.

Thomas Ardill
September 2009

Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.428 no.1076.

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