Joseph Mallord William Turner

Looking Across Loch Ness Towards Urquhart Castle from Foyers Bay


Not on display

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 179 × 150 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXXVI 29 a

Catalogue entry

Inscribed ‘Urqu[h]art Cas[tle]’ by Turner (not ‘Bit Giant’s Causeway’ as Finberg read it),1 this small sketch shows a view north across Loch Ness from Foyers Bay, in the direction of Urquhart Castle on the opposite western shore of the loch.2 Turner was steaming north up Loch Ness on a boat bound for Inverness, and had come ashore at Foyers Bay as part of a scheduled stop to see the Falls of Foyers (see folio 40 verso; D27034). Although the castle is not depicted in this sketch (and may not have been visible from this point), Turner would have known its location from the Steamboat Companion which provided a short history of the castle, advising steamboat passengers to look out for it on the western shore after embarking at Foyers.3 As his boat passed the castle, Turner made a number of careful studies of the ruins from different angles (see folio 19; D26998). There are two further views from Foyers Bay on folio 27 (D27014).

Thomas Ardill
April 2010

Finberg 1909, II, 881.
David Wallace-Hadrill and Janet Carolan, ‘Turner’s 1831 Sketchbook T.B. CCLXXVI Fort Augustus’, [circa 1992–3], Tate catalogue files, [unpaginated].
James Lumsden and Son, Lumsden and Son’s Steamboat Companion; or Stranger’s Guide to the Western Isles and Highlands of Scotland, Glasgow 1839, p.162.

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