Joseph Mallord William Turner

Dunstaffnage Castle and Chapel from the West

1831

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 116 x 186 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D26918
Turner Bequest CCLXXIII 90

Catalogue entry

Both sketches on this page are of Dunstaffnage Castle from the west, and appear to have been made from Loch Linnhe. The top sketch shows the castle with one of the gables of the gatehouse, just visible behind the north-west tower. Behind the promontory on which the castle sits is the mouth of Loch Etive, with the mountains to the north of the loch beyond. There are similar looking views on folios 89 and 89 verso, (D26916, D26917), although these are from the north-west.
The sketch across the bottom of the page also shows the view from the west, so this time there was no need for Turner to repeat the castle in detail. Instead he just marked its position with an outline indicating the gabled roof and the drum tower at the right. The main purpose of this sketch was to show the ruins of Dunstaffnage Chapel, which stands 150 metres to the south-east of the castle and is shown here to the right of the castle outline. Beyond the castle and chapel are the mountains that surround Loch Etive, including Ben Cruachan, which is identifiable behind the chapel by its wave-shaped peak (see folio 89; D26916; CCLXXIII 89). There are further views of the chapel on folios 91 and 91 verso (D26920, D26921).
See folio 89 for references to all of Turner’s sketches of Dunstaffnage.

Thomas Ardill
January 2010

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