Joseph Mallord William Turner

Edinburgh Castle


Not on display

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 99 × 159 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXV 10 a

Catalogue entry

Although this page is preceded and followed in the sketchbook by views along the coast at Dunbar and North Berwick, leading Finberg to describe it tentatively as ruins, the drawing is in fact of Edinburgh Castle seen from the north-east, either from the top of Princes Street or from Calton Hill. Turner has inscribed parts of the building with the numbers ‘7’ and ‘5’, denoting the number of cannon embrasures in the castle battlements. The part of the castle inscribed ‘7’ is the Half Moon Battery, and the part marked ‘5’ is the Forewell Battery. The Argyle Battery runs along to the right, and above these defences are the various buildings that make up the castle complex. A very similar drawing in terms of style and composition appears later in the book and shows the castle from the opposite side (south) (folio 43, D13397; CLXV 43).

Thomas Ardill
October 2007

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