Joseph Mallord William Turner

Dunstaffnage Castle from a Headland to the North-East

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
D26922
Turner Bequest CCLXXIII 92

Catalogue entry

These two sketches of Dunstaffnage Castle were both made from a headland that lies about half a mile along Loch Etive to the east. Standing at the end of the headland Turner was slightly north of the castle, and so it appears in the top sketch near the end of the promontory at the mouth of Loch Etive. Behind the castle and across Loch Linnhe are the mountains on the island of Mull to the left and the hills of Morvern to the right.
The second sketch was made from the same spot, but this time looks north-west rather than due west, with the castle (drawn in outline alone this time) at the very left of the sketch, with the north bank of Loch Etive at the right and the mountains beyond Loch Linnhe in the distance. A boat is anchored near the north bank, where a row of box shapes may represent small buildings or shacks.
There are further sketches of the castle from the north-east on folio 92 verso (D26923) and 97 verso (D26935; CCLXXIII 98a), and a view from the east on 91 verso (D26921). See folio 89 (D26916) for a full list of Turner’s sketches of Dunstaffnage.

Thomas Ardill
January 2010

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