Joseph Mallord William Turner

Edinburgh, The Royal Mile

1834

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 111 × 181 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D26199
Turner Bequest CCLXVIII 53 a

Catalogue entry

David Wallace-Hadrill has suggested that this sketch is of the town of Melrose,1 presumably because there is a sketch of Melrose Abbey on the reverse of this page: folio 53 (D26198). If we follow this suggestion, a view north-west along the High Street from the Market Square is plausible, because the road slopes downwards (as in the sketch), and looks towards the hills around Gattonside, which in the sketch seem about the right height and shape.
Considering similar looking sketches elsewhere in this sketchbook, however, a more likely explanation is perhaps a view east down Edinburgh’s Royal Mile. See folio 1 verso (D26096; CCLXVIII 1) for references to various sketches of the Royal Mile in this sketchbook.

Thomas Ardill
January 2011

1
David Wallace-Hadrill, ‘1831 | 1834’, [circa 1991], Tate catalogue files.

Read full Catalogue entry

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