Joseph Mallord William Turner

Foyers Lower Fall


Not on display

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 179 × 150 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXXVI 25 a

Catalogue entry

This sketch, drawn with the sketchbook inverted from the conventional orientation (the page gutter is at the left), depicts one of the waterfalls at Foyers on the eastern shore of Loch Ness. Considering the subject of the sketch on the opposite page, this too is likely to be a sketch of the more dramatic Lower Fall, plunging down the fifty-metre drop and bubbling in the pool below.
David Wallace-Hadrill, who identified many of Turner’s sketches of the falls, misinterpreted this image, reading it as two sketches drawn with the book turned to the left.1 The orientation of the sketch, however, is revealed by the lollipop-shaped trees at the top of the cliffs, and the column of loops to the left of centre that represent the foaming of the waterfall. There is a similar sketch on folio 25 (D27010), though it was made from the left instead of the right side of the waterfall.
Turner made a number of sketches of the waterfalls from various viewpoints, see folio 40 verso (D27034 for references).

Thomas Ardill
April 2010

David Wallace-Hadrill and Janet Carolan, ‘Turner’s 1831 Sketchbook T.B. CCLXXVI Fort Augustus’, [circa 1992–3], Tate catalogue files, [unpaginated].

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