Joseph Mallord William Turner

Edinburgh from the North-West

1818

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 112 × 186 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D13685
Turner Bequest CLXVII 56 a

Catalogue entry

Turner made a series of distant views of Edinburgh from the north-west, and over folios 59 verso to 64 it is possible to witness his progress towards the city (D13685–D13694; CLXVII 56a–61). Continuing from folio 60 (D13686; CLXVII 57) are trees in the foreground behind which is part of the view towards Edinburgh.
Its seems that Turner was commissioned to provide a picture of Edinburgh from the Water of Leith for the Provincial Antiquities, but the work was never completed. Ian Warrell has suggested, however, that a watercolour beginning of about 1821 may show this view and be based on sketches from 1818 (Tate D25351; Turner Bequest CCLXIII 229).1

Thomas Ardill
March 2008

1
Katrina Thomson, Turner and Sir Walter Scott: The Provincial Antiquities and Picturesque Scenery of Scotland, exhibition catalogue, National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh 1999, pp.37, 47 notes 93 and 94.

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