Joseph Mallord William Turner

Edinburgh, from near Dean Cemetery


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 112 × 186 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXVII 59

Catalogue entry

Finberg identified this view of Edinburgh as having been made from near Dean Cemetery. In the foreground is the Water of Leith, over which is an arched bridge. To the left the houses of different sizes and shapes contrast with the ordered Georgian blocks of Edinburgh’s New Town in the middle distance. The focal point of the drawing is Edinburgh Castle, silhouetted against the sky. To the left is a church spire, perhaps that of St Andrew’s (now called St Andrew’s and St George’s).
This page exhibits various signs of damage, including the loss and replacement of the bottom-right and top-left corners. Around the edge of the page is a yellowish mark and scuffing which suggests that the page may have been at some point detached from the sketchbook and stuck down to card. The existence of the inscribed folio number, ‘59’, in pencil and blue ink also suggests that the page was once separated from the rest of the sketchbook.
Turner returned to this view on his next visit to Scotland in 1822 with a drawing in the King’s Visit to Edinburgh sketchbook (Tate D17525; Turner Bequest CC 9a).

Thomas Ardill
March 2008

Read full Catalogue entry

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