Joseph Mallord William Turner

Landscape, with Pentland Hills in Distance; and Inscriptions


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 112 × 184 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856

Catalogue entry

Continued from folio 90 verso (D13737; CLXVII 82a) is a faint sketch of the Pentland Hills from about ten miles south of Edinburgh, showing on this page: Castlelaw, Allermuir and Caerketton Hills. In the foreground are a cottage (90 verso), a loch or reservoir, and fields stretching out towards the hills.
The page is also full of inscriptions by Turner and his executors. At the top of the page are a list of places and numbers such as ‘3 [?]pounds charged to Grantham’, which may record the fairs he paid for each leg of his journey north to Scotland.
At the bottom of the page the note ‘work – 6 1/2 by 9 1/2’ corresponds, as Katrina Thomson as pointed out, to the average dimensions of the watercolours Turner delivered for the Provincial Antiquities engravings,1 and matches an inscription on a colour study of Linlithgow Palace (Tate D25325; Turner Bequest CCLXIII 203) that was presumably made as an alternative to the view that was finally selected (see folio 46; D13661; CLXVII 44). An inscription early in the sketchbook, ‘Scotch Work 6 by 7 3/4’, indicated that Turner was originally contemplating an alternative format (see folio 73 verso; D13743; CLXVII 85a), but settled on 6 1/2 by 9 1/2 inches before he began the watercolours.
The note, ‘Callcotts Edinburgh from Braid Hill’, refers to Callcott’s design which was engraved by George Cooke in 1821 for the fifth number of the Provincial Antiquities; a view that Turner also sketched (see Tate D13570; Turner Bequest CLXVI 62a). These final inscriptions were therefore probably made on his return from Edinburgh.
The other inscriptions on the page in pencil and brown ink, made with the sketchbook inverted, are by Turner’s executors: H.S. Trimmer, John Prescott Knight and Charles Lock Eastlake, and Finberg has inscribed the Turner Bequest number, ‘CLXVII’ in pencil on the page before stamping it in brown ink.

Thomas Ardill
April 2008

Thomson 1999, p.88 under cat.29.

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