Joseph Mallord William Turner

Figures on the Procession to Edinburgh Castle with the Regalia


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 187 × 114 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CC 56

Catalogue entry

Although this sketch of a group of figures, drawn at the top of the page with the sketchbook turned to the left, is executed in the same unique style as the series of rapid drawings Turner made of the laying of the foundation stone of the National Monument (see folio 22 verso; D17540), it is in fact not connected to that event, but to the procession to Edinburgh Castle with the Regalia of Scotland on 22 August 1822. None of the figures depicted in that series of sketches were mounted on horseback, and the inscription above refers to ‘Guards [in] procession’, although the two at the right appear to be watching the procession. There is a similar group of mounted figures in the sketch on folio 57 verso (D17606).
Beneath this sketch is a small drawing that could plausibly depict the sceptre of James V, part of the Regalia of Scotland that was on display at the procession (see William Home Lizars’s wood engraved frontispiece for part IV of the Provincial Antiquities and Picturesque Scenery of Scotland, 1820). Equally it could just be part of a drawing that Turner abandoned.
For more information on the procession see folio 36 verso (D17565).

Thomas Ardill
September 2008

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