Joseph Mallord William Turner

Loch Katrine; and The Kyles of Rhea, Skye


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 125 × 201 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXX 40 a

Catalogue entry

The largest sketch here, a view from a rocky hill across water to an island and the opposite shore, was the first that Turner made on this page. Although previously unidentified, the composition corresponds to a sequence of sketches in this book that show a view from the lower slopes of Ben A’an across Loch Katrine to Ben Venue with Ellen’s Island (Eilean Molach). The most finished of these drawings on folio 47 (D26528) formed the basis of Turner’s watercolour, Loch Katrine circa 1832 (British Museum).1
The other two sketches on this page were made on a later occasion, probably during Turner’s return from Skye to Tobermory on Mull, and therefore depict a short sequence of views that may continue on folios 54 and 56 (D26542, D26546). The sketches are inscribed ‘Kyles of Skye’ and ‘Land of Kye’, which David Wallace-Hadrill and Janet Carolan have taken to be a reference to the Kyles of Rhea, down which Turner is likely to have steamed to reach Mull.2 The sketch at the head of the page, drawn with the sketchbook turned to the left, shows a shoreline as seen from a boat. It has been suggested that this may be the coast of Kyle Rhea opposite Glenelg ferry pier.3 At the fore-edge of the page, the sketch inscribed ‘Land of Kye’ shows houses, a bridge and a road. Wallace-Hadrill and Carolan suggest the Bernera Barracks overlooking Glenelg Bay as the location for this sketch.4

Thomas Ardill
March 2010

Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.429 no.1084.
David Wallace–Hadrill and Janet Carolan, ‘Turner on the Isle of Skye 1831’, [circa 1991], Tate catalogue files, [folios 26–7, 31].
Ibid., f.27.

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