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
D13630
Turner Bequest CLXVII 27

Catalogue entry

Built on a rocky promontory, the ruins of Dunbar Castle’s Keep are hard to distinguish from the rocks upon which they stand. In fact the strategically placed castle gives the appearance of having grown out of the rocks, and to be reverting into them as it crumbles. As Walter Scott put it in his description of Turner’s Dunbar illustration, ‘the massive vestiges of the castle which remain are scarcely to be discerned, in colour or shape, from the rude dark rocks on which they are founded’.1 There is another view of the keep on folio 27 (D13629; CLXVII 26).
There is a small brown mark at the left of the page.
1
The Provincial Antiquities and Picturesque Scenery of Scotland with Descriptive Illustrations by Sir Walter Scott, Bart., Volume II, London and Edinburgh 1826, p.[147]–8.
Verso:
Blank

Thomas Ardill
February 2008

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