Joseph Mallord William Turner

Calton Hill from above St Anthony’s Chapel


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 113 × 190 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXIX 84 a

Catalogue entry

Drawn with the sketchbook inverted, this rapid sketch was made as Turner climbed the slopes to Arthur’s Seat in Holyrood Park, looking for a good view of Edinburgh. The present view was made from the gully path that leads up to Arthur’s Seat from the north side of the crags between Whinny Hill and Salisbury Crags. The crags rise up at the left of the page, with Whinny Hill at the right and the ruins of St Anthony’s Chapel on its lower slopes at the centre right (see folio 86 for a similar view of the chapel; D26424). Beyond this is the city. Turner has ignored most of the buildings, just picking out a few landmarks. Calton Hill with the Nelson Monument is at the upper centre of the page with the outline of Holyrood Palace beneath. As on folio 83 (D26418) Turner represents this buildings as a box with a few triangles for the various turrets. Edinburgh Castle is hidden by the crags at the left. These two landmarks are also singled out in a sketch from nearby on folio 85 verso (D26423).
For more information about this sequence of sketches, see folio 89 verso (D26431).

Thomas Ardill
November 2010

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