Joseph Mallord William Turner

Heriot’s Hospital, Edinburgh: The Clock Tower and Entrance


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 111 × 181 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXVIII 78

Catalogue entry

The clock tower of Heriot’s Hospital school is isolated and studied in close detail in this sketch, made on 1 October 1834.1 The tower is located at the centre of the northern façade, with the main entrance to the school below. As in his study of the building from the south-east (folio 81; D26247), Turner has drawn the architecture in precise detail. He has economised, however, by drawing only part of the rest of the building, which is fairly symmetrical. Again, the artist has struggled a little with the steeple, which is drawn with much less confidence than the rest of the building; Turner also repositioned the steeple in his sketch on folio 81.
This study is similar to a sketch that Turner made of the building in 1818: Tate D13447 (Turner Bequest CLXV 68).
For further sketches of Heriot’s Hospital, see folio 81.

Thomas Ardill
November 2010

Gerald Finley, Landscapes of Memory: Turner as Illustrator to Scott, London 1980, pp.182, 258 note 46.

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