Joseph Mallord William Turner

Hermitage Castle, Lidderdale


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 187 × 114 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXVI 66 a

Catalogue entry

This page is one of two, used with the sketchbook turned to the side, that record Hermitage Castle in small sketches made from different positions around the castle (see also folio 66; D25891). The three sketches on the present page, all made with the book turned to the right, show the castle from about forty or fifty metres away to the south-east (top), south-west (middle) and due south (bottom). Although each includes the rough shape of the landscape in which it is set, the primary purpose seems to have been to capture quickly the general shape of the castle from three angles rather than to record architectural details (as in folios 64 verso and 65; D25888, D25890), topographical information (folio 66), or to try out compositional ideas (folios 63 verso, 64, 65, 67 and 68 verso; D25886, D25887, D25889, D25893, D25896).
The sketch on folio 67 was used as the basis for Turner’s vignette illustration to volume 3 of Sir Walter Scott’s Poetical Works: Hermitage Castle circa 1832 (watercolour, private collection).1

Thomas Ardill
September 2009

Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.428 no.1077.

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