Joseph Mallord William Turner

Great Hall of Edinburgh Castle from the South

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
D26202
Turner Bequest CCLXVIII 55

Catalogue entry

The main sketch, down across the left half of this page, depicts the Great Hall of Edinburgh Castle as seen from nearby to the south. An inscription above the sketch notes ‘7 guns’; the artist also noted the canons in a sketch of the Half Moon Battery in the Stirling and Edinburgh sketchbook: Tate D26404 (Turner Bequest CCLXIX 76).
Turner is reported to have walked to the High Street to see the castle on 1 October 1834, before heading to the Grassmarket to make further sketches of it from there.1 This sketch, and another on folio 63 verso (D26218), as well as a sketch in the Stirling and Edinburgh sketchbook (Tate D26404; Turner Bequest CCLXIX 76), seem to have been made from Johnston Terrace, which Turner must have reached from the High Street via the steps of Castle Wynd North. The sketch at the right of the page may look east from Johnston Terrace, with Castle Wynd North climbing up the slope to the castle.
For further information about Turner’s sketches of Edinburgh Castle see folio 63 verso.
There are light brown stains in the page gutter at the top right.

Thomas Ardill
November 2010

1
Robert Cadell, Diary 1834, Wednesday 1 October 1834, National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh MS 21024, folio 42.

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