Joseph Mallord William Turner

Dunbar Castle


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 112 x 186 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXVII 29

Catalogue entry

Standing just to the east of Dunbar Castle, Turner has sketched the ruins of the old gateway (centre) and Keep (right) which sit on a rocky promontory which falls away into the sea at the right. The view is very similar to the drawing on the previous page (folio 29; D13631; CLXVII 28). At the left inscriptions refer to ‘Boats’ and ‘fishing’ and there is a bank where small boats may have been pulled ashore, although the rocks under the water around the castle would be treacherous to those unfamiliar with the harbour. There follows two double-page sketches of the castle from the east (folios 30 verso–31 and 33 verso–34; D13633–D13634 and D13639–D13640; CLXVII 29a–30 and 31c–32), which formed the template of Turner’s Provincial Antiquities: Dunbar, circa 1823 (private collection).1
There is a pale pink smudge next to Finberg’s number, the remains of Ruskin’s red ink numbering.

Thomas Ardill
February 2008

Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.426 no.1066.

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