Joseph Mallord William Turner

Edinburgh from Calton Hill with the Stewart and Playfair Monuments


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 113 × 190 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXIX 77 a

Catalogue entry

There are two monuments in this view of Edinburgh from Calton Hill, though neither of them is the Burns’ Monument as Finberg suggested.1 The nearest structure at the left of the page is the 1826 monument to John Playfair, with, to the right, a corner of the Royal Observatory. To the left, a hundred metres away to the west-south-west, is the Dugald Stewart Monument. Further down the hill at the bottom left of the page is the Governor’s House of Calton Gaol, and Edinburgh Castle dominates the skyline at the centre of the page with the spires of St Giles’s Cathedral and the Tron Kirk to the left.
There is another sketch of the same view opposite this one on folio 78 (D26408). These belong to a series of views of Edinburgh from near the Stewart Monument; see folio 79 verso (D26411) for details.

Thomas Ardill
November 2010

Finberg 1909, II, p.867.

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