Joseph Mallord William Turner

East Loch Tarbert; and ?Loch Katrine


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 125 × 201 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXX 29 a

Catalogue entry

With the sketchbook turned to the left from its conventional orientation, along the fore-edge of the page there is a sketch of East Loch Tarbert with Tarbert Castle on a hill to the south of the town. Having disembarked at the quay, perhaps from the steamboat that can be seen just below and to the left of the castle, Turner walked around East Loch Tarbert sketching the castle from different angles (see folio 88 verso; D26610 for references to his other sketches of East Tarbert).
With the sketchbook in the opposite orientation is a sketch of a loch surrounded by mountains. David Wallace-Hadrill and Janet Carolan have suggested two identifications. Either Loch Fyne from St Catherine’s, with the inscription ‘Hell’s G’ referring to Hell’s Glen, or West Loch Tarbert. Of the two the latter is closer to the general appearance of the loch. A third suggestion, however, forms a much better topographical match. This is the east end of Loch Katrine with Ben A’an at the left, as seen from the south-eastern shore at the foot of Ben Venue. There is a similar view on folio 32 verso (D26499), though made from further up the mountain.

Thomas Ardill
June 2010

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