Joseph Mallord William Turner

Cromarty Firth From Near Evanton

1831

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 165 × 400 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D40396

Catalogue entry

There appear to be three sketches on this sheet, although the sketch at the bottom-left may be the continuation from the right of the top sketch. David Wallace-Hadrill and Janet Carolan have recognised this sketch as a view east up the Cromarty Firth, towards the headlands at the mouth known as the Sutors of Cromarty.1 The sketch was made from the northern shore of the Firth near Novar House, where Turner stayed for a few days with his friend and patron Hugh Munro (see Tate D34797; Turner Bequest CCCLXIV d 330). From around this point he also made a sketch of Castle Craig across the firth to the south: Tate D34845 (Turner Bequest CCCLXIV d 359).
The inset sketch at the bottom right of the page shows a towered building with trees in the foreground, and hills and water in the distance. Wallace-Hadrill and Carolan suggest that this may be one of two forts that lie to the south of Novar House, making this a view from the west of the house, looking eastward across the garden and estate towards the firth.
1
Wallace-Hadrill and Carolan 1994, pp.14–15.
Technical notes:
Ruskin and Finberg’s inventory numbers are written on the reverse of this sheet (D34858; CCCXLIV d 370), meaning that the sketch is on the verso. In his inventory, however, Finberg described the sketch as being on the recto.1 The sketch is drawn (inverted) on the left-hand side of a wide sheet of paper, folded in half by the artist.

Thomas Ardill
May 2010

1
Finberg 1909, II, p.1143, CCCXLIV d 370.

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