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Prints and Drawings Room

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Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 112 × 186 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXVII 52

Catalogue entry

This is the second sketch of Linlithgow Palace from the north-west in the current sketchbook (see folio 54 verso; D13676; CLXVII 51a). The north and west sides of the building are seen from across Linlithgow Loch with the tower of St Michael’s Church to the right, topped by its crown spire (see folio 43 verso; D13656; CLXVII 41a). Part of the town of Linlithgow can be seen at the far right of the page, with the tower of the old Town House (see folio 52; D13663; CLXVII 45b).
Andrew Wilton has regarded this sketch as one of the five views of Linlithgow from the current sketchbook that formed the basis of Turner’s 1821 watercolour of Linlithgow Palace (Manchester City Galleries):1 folios 55–57 (D13677–D13681; CLXVII 52–54). Although that painting in fact shows the palace from the north-east, there are similarities between the sketch and the watercolour that indicate that he had begun to conceive of the final design as he made this drawing. The palace occupies the same central position in the composition, as does the loch, and other features such as trees in the foreground and to the left of Linlithgow Palace. The distant hills are also preserved in the final design, although in altered positions.
See folio 56 for more information about the sketches used for the watercolour (D13679; CLXVII 53).

Thomas Ardill
March 2008

Wilton p.426 under no.1068.

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