Joseph Mallord William Turner

Inverness: Tollbooth and Old High Kirk


Not on display

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 104 x 163 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXXVII 5

Catalogue entry

The drawing or drawings on this page poses a problem. Turner appears to have drawn a view of a town with two steeples and a river at the right. If the steeples have been identified correctly as the Tollbooth at the left and the Old High Church (or Kirk) of Inverness at the right,1 then this is a view of Inverness looking north from somewhere around Castle Hill. However, the River Ness is on the wrong side (it should be to the left). There may therefore be two overlapping sketches. One depicts the two steeples from the south, and another looks north up the River Ness towards the Black Isle. At the bottom of the page is a sketch of two figures who lean forwards over the water. Turner incorporated these two figures in his watercolour, Inverness circa 1833 (Inverness Museum and Art Gallery, The Highland Council),2 the composition of which was based on the sketch on folio 2 (D27047).

Thomas Ardill
April 2010

David Wallace-Hadrill and Janet Carolan, ‘Sketchbook CCLXXVII Inverness’, [circa 1991], Tate catalogue files, [unpaginated].
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, pp.433–4 no.1128.

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