Joseph Mallord William Turner

Duart Castle and the Sound of Mull

1831

Not on display

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 91 × 153 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D26945
Turner Bequest CCLXXIV 5 a

Catalogue entry

These two sketches are of Duart Castle on the Isle of Mull. The sketch across the centre of the page takes in both shores of the Sound of Mull, with the shore of Morvern and the headland that has been identified as Rubha an Ridire at the far right of the sketch (also sketched above),1 and the shore of Mull at the left with Duart Castle on a headland beneath the peak of Dùn da Ghaoithe. In the sketch at the top of the page the castle is shown from a closer position to the south-east. Beneath it Turner wrote ‘Lady Rock’, referring to a crag between Duart Point and Lismore, now supporting a lighthouse, that was so named (as Turner may have read in the Steamboat Companion), after Lachlan Cattanach McLean of Duart had his wife Lady Katherine marooned there in the sixteenth century.2
There are further sketches of Duart Castle on folios 4 verso–6 and 7 verso (D26943–D26946, D26948) of this sketchbook, and in the Staffa sketchbook (see Tate D26545; Turner Bequest CCLXXIII 55a), the latter presumably made when Turner passed the castle for a second time on his return to Oban.

Thomas Ardill
February 2010

1
David Wallace-Hadrill and Janet Carolan, ‘Turner on the Isle of Skye 1831’, [circa 1991], Tate catalogue files, [folio 29].
2
See James Lumsden and Son, Lumsden and Son’s Steamboat Companion; or Stranger’s Guide to the Western Isles and Highlands of Scotland, Glasgow 1839, p.166.

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