Joseph Mallord William Turner

Edinburgh: The Castle, North Bridge and Heriot’s Hospital


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 111 × 181 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXVIII 79

Catalogue entry

At the top of the page is one of two sketches that Turner made of Edinburgh Castle from the Grassmarket to the south. The other sketch on folio 64 (D26219) concentrates on the buildings in the Grassmarket but neglects the castle, indicating its presence with a rough outline only. The current sketch fills in this detail. The castle Esplanade to the right is continued in a separate sketch, drawn with the book turned to the right at the left of the page. For further sketches of the castle, see folio 63 verso (D26218).

Across the bottom half of the page the castle is seen again, this time in the background of a sketch from the terrace of Heriot’s Hospital school. The school lies to the south of the castle, and this view is from the south-east corner of the terrace looking north, with the school to the left and the castle to the right. While both buildings are shown in outline only, the onion domes of Heriot’s Hospital make it easily recognisable. Turner drew Heriot’s Hospital on 1 October 1834, providing a date for this sketch. For further sketches of the school, see folio 81 (D26247).

Thomas Ardill
November 2010

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