Joseph Mallord William Turner

Edinburgh from the South; The Firth of Forth


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 87 a

Catalogue entry

Continuing from folio 69 verso (D13705; CLXVII 66a) is a view of Edinburgh from the south, showing here Arthur’s Seat and the Firth of Forth to the east. The view is probably from the Braid Hills so we look across fields toward the mighty hill with the village of Duddingston at its foot to the right, and north-east towards the mouth of the estuary with what may be the Bass Rock and, at the far right of the page, North Berwick Law. At the top of the page is a slight sketch that Finberg identified as of the Firth of Forth.
This page has been stamped with the final number in the Turner Bequest sequence for this sketchbook: ‘CLXVII 87’, and is therefore out of Finberg’s sequence. The page was one of four that were unbound and out of sequence when he catalogued the sketchbook, as he noted ‘The following pages though unnumbered appear to have once belonged to this book’, and he placed them all at the end of the sketchbook sequence.1 Sometime since 1909 it was realised that the present page contained a continuation of the drawing on folio 69, and was thus rebound in its present position (the gutter of the page has been reconstructed, indicating that the page had been cut out of the book). Finberg’s inventory also confuses the recto and verso of the page indicating that he may have been unsure which way round it went. Thus the inventory describes CLXVII 87 as ‘View of Edinburgh, with St George’s Church’, and 87a as ‘Arthur’s Seat (?)’ (folio 70 verso; D3746; CLXVII 87a). As noted above, the present page shows Arthur’s Seat and its verso contains the image of St George’s Church.
For more information on the page order of this sketchbook see the Concordance and Technical notes.

Thomas Ardill
March 2008

Finberg 1909, I, p.487, CLXVII 87a.

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