Joseph Mallord William Turner

Dunbar Castle

1818

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 112 × 186 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D13622
Turner Bequest CLXVII 22

Catalogue entry

Continued from folio 22 verso (D13621; CLXVII 21a), this viewpoint is very similar to the sketch on folios 18 verso–19 (D13615–D13516; CLXVII 17a–18), which shows Dunbar Castle from the west, although it is here taken from a little further away. Despite the similarity of the compositions, however, the pencil work is quite different in each, indicating a difference in purpose. While Turner used a sharp and precise line with careful hatching in the former, the present sketch employs a softer line with extensive shading. Areas of the drawing are also inscribed ‘light’ and ‘shade’ suggesting that it was these aspects that he was interested in recording in this instance. Turner’s interest in recording line and tone relate to the fact that these sketches were made in preparation for designs to be engraved. (See Tour of Scotland 1818 Tour Introduction for more information on the Provincial Antiquities project).
There is light foxing across the page.

Thomas Ardill
February 2008

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