Joseph Mallord William Turner

Dunbar Harbour


Not on display

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 90 × 112 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXVI 19 a

Catalogue entry

While this double-page drawing of Dunbar (continued on folio 20; D13487) lacks the distinctive identifying features of, for example, the sketch on the previous two pages (folios 18 verso to 19; D13484–D13485), it can be identified by comparing it to a drawing of the town in the Bass Rock and Edinburgh sketchbook (folio 24; D13365). That drawing shows the crenellated wall of the Dunbar Battery at the edge of the harbour beneath the ruined castle. The same wall, though not the castle (due to a variation in the viewpoint), is included in this sketch and can still be seen today.
We therefore look towards the harbour wall with the coast behind it to the right and the harbour basin on the left. The town of Dunbar can be seen at the top left, and a boat at the bottom left frames the composition with its mast as in folios 19 verso to 20.

Thomas Ardill
December 2007

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