Joseph Mallord William Turner

Edinburgh from the North

1818

Not on display

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 99 × 159 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D13323
Turner Bequest CLXV 1 a

Catalogue entry

Finberg, presumably on the strength of the inscription on the following page of this sketchbook (folio 2; Tate D13324; Turner Bequest CLXV 2), tentatively suggested that this is a sketch of the small fishing village of St Abbs on the coast halfway between Berwick-on-Tweed and Dunbar.1 However, the two hills in the background closely resemble Arthur’s Seat and Calton Hill with Nelson’s Monument at its summit in Edinburgh, as seen from the north (see for example this view from Leith sketched in 1822: Tate D17615; Turner Bequest CC 62). The foreground may therefore be Leith Harbour, though it looks unlike it.
There are further sketches of Calton Hill on folios 52 verso, 59 and 60 verso; D13416, D13429, D13432; CLXV 50a, 57 and 58a.

Thomas Ardill
July 2009

1
Finberg 1909, I, p.478, CLXV 1a.

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