Joseph Mallord William Turner

?Kilkinnan, Loch Lochy; and ?Invergarry Castle, Loch Oich

1831

Not on display

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 150 × 184 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D26981
Turner Bequest CCLXXVI 10 a

Catalogue entry

The identification of these two sketches is not certain, but their position within the sequence of sketches in the book, the inscriptions written on them and architectural details do suggest possibilities for each. The first sketch, drawn parallel to the fore-edge of the page and inscribed twice by Turner, shows a hillside with a few architectural structures on it. Just to the left of centre is a square structure with a large arched doorway. It is possible that this is the Macdonnell Mausoleum in Kilfinnan burial ground at the north of Loch Lochy, about a mile south-west of Laggan. The shape of the structure is a good match, as is the hillside behind it with the suggestion of the narrowing of the loch to the right. Turner’s inscription above this structure could be read as ‘Mausoleum’ (or a shortened form of the word), and the inscription below may refer to ‘Glengarry’ as the glen through which the River Garry flows nearby, or more likely to Macdonnell of Glengarry (Alasdair Ranaldson Macdonell). Whether Turner could have made this view from a boat travelling up Loch Lochy, or if he would have had to disembark at Laggan and walk to the site, is not certain.
David Wallace-Hadrill and Janet Carolan have suggested that the sketch at the bottom of the page, drawn with the book inverted, may show Invergarry Castle from Loch Oich to the north.1 The shape of the structure at the centre of the sketch is not a great match for Invergarry Castle, although the loch and the hills beyond are a better fit with what could be Meall nan Dearcag above the castle. For more certain sketches of Invergarry Castle see folio 12 (D26984).

Thomas Ardill
April 2010

1
David Wallace-Hadrill and Janet Carolan, ‘Turner’s 1831 Sketchbook T.B. CCLXXVI Fort Augustus’, [circa 1992–3], Tate catalogue files, [unpaginated].

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