Joseph Mallord William Turner

Five Sketches of the Islands of Islay and Jura, Including Finlaggan

1831

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 201 × 125 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D26581
Turner Bequest CCLXX 73 a

Catalogue entry

The five sketches on this page were made during Turner’s journey to Islay in the Inner Hebrides and during his time on the island (see also folio 83 verso; D26600). Islay was the destination of Turner’s steamboat tour around the southern islands of Argyll from Glasgow. The journey took him from the Clyde (see folio 15; D26464) around the Kyles of Bute to East Tarbert, where he crossed the Kintyre peninsula to continue his journey from West Tarbert to Islay.
The first sketch at the top of the page was therefore made from around the mouth of West Loch Tarbert, and looks west towards ‘Jura’ with its conical Paps and Islay behind it to the left. As his steamboat moved a little further on towards the islands Turner made a sketch of ‘Islay’ with the island of ‘Ghia’ (Gigha) in the foreground to the left. The third sketch down shows Jura again, this time with the headland of Artpatrick Point at the mouth of West Loch Tarbert in the foreground at the right. Turner made further sketches earlier on this journey, again with about half a dozen sketches per page, on folio 77 (D26588) made around the Kyles of Bute and approaching Islay, and on folio 77 verso (D26589) with sketches around the Clyde estuary.
The other two sketches on this page were made after Turner landed at Islay. At the centre is a view, probably from west of Port Askaig (see folio 37 verso; D26509), looking east over the Sound of Islay towards Jura with the Paps at the left. There is a similar view on folio 74 (D26582) which may have been made near Ballygrant (see that entry for references to other views of the Paps of Jura).
At the bottom of the page is a sketch of Finlaggan Castle which sits on the island of Eilean Mòr in Loch Finlaggan. The view is from the north of the loch. For further sketches of the castle see folio 70 verso (D26575).

Thomas Ardill
January 2010

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