Joseph Mallord William Turner

Dunollie Castle from the Firth of Lorn

1831

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 186 x 116 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D26852
Turner Bequest CCLXXIII 57

Catalogue entry

These four sketches of Dunollie Castle and a view of Loch Linnhe were, according to David Wallace-Hadrill and Janet Carolan, probably made during Turner’s return journey to Oban after visiting Mull, Staffa and Skye.1 The views are all from near the island of Kerrera, and were made on the approach to Oban Bay.
Turner seems to have started sketching at the bottom of the page, with a view due north up the Firth of Lorn to Loch Linnhe from near Dunollie Castle. At the left, and continuing on folio 56 verso (D26851), are the mountains of Morvern and on the right are the mountains of Appin.
The first Dunollie sketch, the fourth down on the page, was made from north-west of Dunollie Castle and shows the castle on a headland at the left and Oban Bay to the right. We are closer to the castle in the second Dunollie sketch, which is the third from the top. To the right of the castle is the hill Barra Mòr with a few buildings to its right. The castle is seen from the south in the second sketch down, and from close to, Turner’s boat having just passed it. In the final sketch at the top of the page the castle is seen from the south-west.
Turner made another sketch of the castle on his journey to Oban on folio 56 verso, and sketched further views as he approached Oban Harbour on folio 96 verso (D26931; CCLXXIII 96a). For further sketches of the castle see folio 95 (D26928; CCLXXIII 95).

Thomas Ardill
February 2010

1
David Wallace-Hadrill and Janet Carolan, ‘Turner on Mull and Staffa’ (unpublished manuscript), [circa 1991], Tate catalogue files, [folios 16, 21].

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