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Prints and Drawings Room

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Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 113 × 185 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXVII 50 a

Catalogue entry

One of five sketches of Dunbar in the Abbotsford sketchbook (see folio 48; D26008; CCLXVII 48 for further references), this page (used with the book inverted) contains three sketches, probably all made from the same position. The largest sketch, at the centre of the page, shows the ruins of Dunbar Castle as seen from the harbour wall to the east. The ruins sit on a promontory of rocks, and in the foreground Turner has included two figures that also look across the water to the castle, as well as a boat moored near the harbour wall. At the top left of the page is a sketch that looks south, back towards the town of Dunbar. To its right is a sketch of some of the crags just off the coast.
Turner made similar studies from the same spot in 1818 in the Bass Rock and Edinburgh sketchbook (e.g. Tate D13364; Turner Bequest CLXV 23a).

Thomas Ardill
September 2009

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