Joseph Mallord William Turner

Linlithgow Loch; Blackness Castle


Not on display

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 90 x 112 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXVI 36

Catalogue entry

The three sketches on this page are part of a series of views of Linlithgow and Blackness Castles drawn over four pages: folios 34 verso–35 and 35 verso–36 (D13516–D13517 and D13518–D13519). The drawing at the top of the page may be the one that Finberg identified as ‘Linlithgow Lock’ [sic], and would therefore show the buildings at the south side of the loch that appear in the corner of another drawing in this sketchbook (folio 33; D13513), with the distant Bathgate Hills in the background. The sketch at the bottom of the page may also show some of these buildings surrounded, as they are, by trees. The loch, however, is not visible in the sketch. In the middle of the page is a view looking east to Blackness Castle which extends to folio 35 verso where we see the opposite north bank of the Firth of Forth with a little of the south bank in the foreground.1

Thomas Ardill
December 2007

A note in David Wallace-Hadrill’s unpublished research tentatively suggests the ‘Union Canal?’ as a subject of these drawings, but also questions the ‘date of union canal?’. (David Wallace-Hadrill, unpublished notes, [circa 1989–94], Tate catalogue files). Work on what was then known as the Edinburgh and Glasgow Union Canal which passes through Linlithgow began in March 1818, so this is unlikely to be the subject, unless it shows the digging of the canal, which is unclear from the sketch.

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