In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 114 × 187 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXVI 63

Catalogue entry

With the sketchbook inverted is a drawing of Langholm, with the Town Hall and Langholm Bridge from the west bank of the River Esk. Turner is known to have visited Langholm on 2 August as he wrote a letter to Robert Cadell that day to tell the publisher when he was planning to arrive at Abbotsford, the home of Sir Walter Scott.1 Turner arrived from Lockerbie by way of Johnny Armstrong’s Tower, which is situated about four miles along the River Esk to the south. The next day he coached on to Hawick.
There is another view of Langholm on folio 67 verso (D25894) which again shows the Town Hall and Bridge, as well as the old Parish Church.

Thomas Ardill
September 2009

Robert Cadell, ‘Abbotsford Diary’, Thursday 4 August 1831, National Library of Scotland, MS Acc.5188, Box 1, folio 102; transcribed in Gerald E. Finley, ‘J.M.W. Turner and Sir Walter Scott: Iconography of a Tour’, Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, vol.31, 1972, p.377.

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