Joseph Mallord William Turner

Doune Castle from the North-West


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 190 × 113 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXIX 62 a

Catalogue entry

Drawn with the sketchbook turned to the right are three sketches of Doune Castle from the north and north-west. The top two depict the castle in isolation, while the third places the building in the context of its landscape setting with the approach road in the foreground. The ‘D[ark] Water’ of the River Teith is show at the left behind a clump of ‘ash’ trees.
The inscription ‘W S’ may stand for ‘west side’, indicating the direction from which the sketch was made, or perhaps it is a reference to ‘Walter Scott’ whose novel Waverley, 1816, has Doune Castle as one of its setting. Turner had been commissioned by Robert Cadell to illustrate a new edition of the Waverley Novels, so may have been considering using Doune as the illustration to Waverly, as had several previous illustrators; see folio 52 verso (D26358). In the event Turner did not illustrate the new edition, and there are no paintings or watercolours of the castle.
For further information and a full list of Turner’s sketches of the castle, see folio 52 verso.

Thomas Ardill
November 2010

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