Joseph Mallord William Turner

Linlithgow Palace and St Michael’s Church


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
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 42 a

Catalogue entry

This double-page view (continuing on folio 45; D13659; CLXVII 43) is taken from the west side of Linlithgow Loch, and looks through the trees and across the water to Linlithgow Palace with St Michael’s Church to its right. The two buildings are drawn in minimal detail, although the outlines are precise enough to identify the main parts of both structures. In the centre of the current page is a tree that helps to frame the architecture and define the relationship between foreground and background. The basic shape of this tree is the same as the one Turner placed at the right of his 1821 watercolour of Linlithgow Palace (Manchester City Art Galleries).1 The foreground continues on folio 45 with ash and sycamore trees and rushes by the waterside.
There is a similar view on folio 50 verso (D13670; CLXVII 48a), along with several more sketches of the palace from the west, making this the most frequently sketched viewpoint of the building in the Scotch Antiquities sketchbook (folios 51 verso, 52 verso, 53 and 54; D13672, D13673, D13674 and D13675; CLXVII 49a, 45c, 50, 51). Turner used a view from the west for his painting of Linlithgow Palace, Scotland exhibited at his gallery in 1810 (Walker Art Gallery, oil on canvas).2

Thomas Ardill
March 2008

Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.426 no.1068.
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984, pp.74–5 no.104.

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