Joseph Mallord William Turner

Castle Stuart, Moray Firth


Not on display

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 163 x 104 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXXVII 85 a

Catalogue entry

Janet Carolan has suggested that the building depicted in this small sketch may be Castle Stuart on the southern bank of the Moray Firth, about six and a half miles north-east of Inverness. Although there is little detail in this quick and very simplified sketch, the appearance of the castle matches Castle Stuart quite well, making this a view from the north with the open-crown spire at the top right of the structure. Turner may have passed the castle if he travelled by road from Inverness to Elgin. Alternatively, he may have seen the castle from the water if his route to Elgin brought him via Fort Rose (on the Black Isle) to Ardersier (see Inverness sketchbook Introduction for the itinerary).
Inscribed on this page is an idiosyncratic note that looks more like an aide memoir to the artist than a label referring to the subject of the sketch: ‘[...]W change | grade of [...]’.
There may be another sketch of the same castle on folio 144 (D27221).

Thomas Ardill
May 2010

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