Joseph Mallord William Turner

Clamshell Cave, Staffa

1831

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 186 × 116 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D26807
Turner Bequest CCLXXIII 35

Catalogue entry

Identified as the Clamshell Cave on Staffa,1 this sketch is identifiable by the curved ridge of striated rock which forms the mouth of the cave to the south. Behind this ridge is a pyramidal rock, also of columnar basalt, called Am Buachaille (or the Herdsman’s Rock). Standing near the entrance to the sea cave, this view looks south across the sea to the island of Iona. There are further views of the Clamshell Cave on folios 30, 34 verso and perhaps 39 (D26799, D26806, D26815).
For references to all of Turners views of Staffa, see folio 40 (D26817).

Thomas Ardill
March 2010

1
David Wallace-Hadrill and Janet Carolan, ‘Turner on Mull and Staffa, 1831’, [circa 1991], Tate catalogue files, [folios 8, 18].

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