Joseph Mallord William Turner

John Knox House, Netherbow, High Street, Edinburgh


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 18 a

Catalogue entry

At the centre of this view, which looks east along the High Street on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, is the fifteenth-century building known as John Knox House. This was presumably Turner’s object of interest, as it is drawn quite carefully compared to the other buildings which are only roughly sketched. A series of scribbles across the centre of the page may represent figures, carts and stalls laid out on this busy street in Edinburgh’s Old Town.
There is a close-up sketch of the house opposite this one on folio 19 (D26130), and the building can be seen in the background of sketches of the High Street on folios 76 and 77 (D26239, D26241). A sketch on folio 19 verso (D26131) shows the Tolbooth on Canongate nearby.
At the bottom left of the page is the slight continuation of a sketch from folio 19.

Thomas Ardill
November 2010

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