Joseph Mallord William Turner

Glen Croe from ‘Rest and be Thankful’; and ?Ardkinglas House

1831

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 125 × 201 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D26551
Turner Bequest CCLXX 58 a

Catalogue entry

Here is one of the impressive views that Turner enjoyed on his journey between Loch Fyne and Loch Long. The journey was part of a tour around the inland lochs of Argyll that combined two organised tours by steamboat and coach, taking in Loch Long, Loch Goil and Loch Fyne (see the introduction to this sketchbook).1 Having arrived at Inveraray, Turner rounded the head of Loch Fyne to Cairndow (folio 20 verso; D26475). From here he took the military road east through Glen Kinglas to the foot of Bienn Choranach, and then went south to Rest and be Thankful at the south of Loch Restil and to the north-east of Glen Croe. Turner seems to have made no sketches between Cairndow and Rest and be Thankful, but from here recorded his journey to the head of Loch Long (folios 61 verso–62; D26557–D26558).
The present sketch was identified by David Wallace-Hadrill and Janet Carolan as showing the shoulders of Ben Ime and Ben Arthur on the left, with Ben Donich and the Brack on the right.2 Turner was on familiar ground here, having used the same view for a Liber Studiorum design in 1819 based on sketches made in 1801: Ben Arthur, Scotland (Tate A01145). The similarity between the Liber print and the present drawing is more obvious in the etched ‘proof’ before mezzotint was added: Ben Arthur, Scotland (Tate A01144). Here the shape of the peak at the right matches the peak at the right of the drawing.
Turner made further sketches from further down Glen Croe on folios 58, 59 and 59 verso (D26550, D26552, D26553), and perhaps folio 41 (D26516), and in the Loch Long sketchbook (Tate D26625, D26633, D26646; Turner Bequest CCLXXI 4, 8, 14a). He then seems to have climbed up towards the summit of Ben Arthur (folios 33, 60a; D26500, D26555) to get a view over Loch Long and Loch Lomond (folio 61; D26555). He seems to have ascended the mountain by the path between Ben Arthur and Beinn Narnain as a sketch in the Loch Long sketchbook (D26646) was made from the eastern end of Glen Croe, showing that he rounded the southern slope of the mountain before ascending the eastern slope. From the summit, he descended to the shore of Loch Long, from where he looked back to the summit of the mountain (folios 61 verso and 62; D26556, D26557; and Tate D26632, D26634, D26635; Turner Bequest CCLXXI 7a, 8a, 9).

Thomas Ardill
October 2009

1
David Wallace-Hadrill and Janet Carolan, ‘Turner Round the Clyde and in Islay – 1831’, 1991, Tate catalogue files, folios 5–7.
2
Ibid., folio 6.

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