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 78

Catalogue entry

Drawn with the sketchbook inverted, this view of Edinburgh from Calton’s Hill is an elaboration of the sketch on folio 77 verso (D26407). The view is from the top of Calton Hill at the south-east corner of the Royal Observatory. In the foreground at the right is the John Playfair Monument, and to the right at the centre of the page is the monument to Dugald Stewart. Beyond these lies the city of Edinburgh with the darkly shaded castle and North Bridge. Compared to folio 77 verso, Turner paid less attention in this sketch to the architecture of the two monuments, concentrating instead on light and shadow and colour in the sky which he noted was ‘all grey’ at he left and ‘v[ery] yellow’ to the right.
This sketch belongs to a series of views of Edinburgh from near the Stewart Monument; see folio 79 verso (D26411) for details.

Thomas Ardill
November 2010

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