Joseph Mallord William Turner

Edinburgh, from Blackford Hill

1831

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 113 × 185 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D25940
Turner Bequest CCLXVII 8

Catalogue entry

The drawing on this page continues from folio 7 verso (D25939; CCLXVII 7a) with a view of Edinburgh from Blackford Hill, made in preparation for an illustration to Marmion, volume 7 of Sir Walter Scott’s Poetical Works.1 This part of the picture shows the eastern half of the city with the spires of St Giles’s Cathedral and the Tron Kirk on the High Street at the centre left of the page and Calton Hill at the centre. On the hill are the City Observatory, Nelson’s Monument, and the National Monument. Although it is not clear in the drawing, Turner included Heriot’s Hospital School in the illustration, and it should be seen just beneath and to the left of St Giles’s. Beyond the city is the Firth of Forth with the island of Inchkeith and the distant shore of Fife. The picture is framed at the right by Arthur’s Seat and the view continues to the right on folio 11 and then on 13 (D25946, D25950; CCLXVII 11, 13), Turner having peeled back several pages to continue the view there.

Thomas Ardill
September 2009

1
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.428 no.1082.

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