Joseph Mallord William Turner

Nelson’s Monument

1818

Not on display

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 99 × 159 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D13416
Turner Bequest CLXV 52 a

Catalogue entry

Rather than a ‘Lighthouse on [the] coast’ as Finberg suggests,1 this is in fact Nelson’s Monument on Calton Hill with Edinburgh Castle in the background as seen from the north. The drawing is very faint and made up almost entirely of outlines, so that what are in fact hills, the castle and the mass of buildings in Edinburgh take on the appearance of rocks. The confusion is compounded by the sketches of Dunbar on the recto of this leaf and on the following page (folios 54 and 55; D13415, D13417; CLXV 52, 53).
There are drawings of Calton Hill on folios 45 verso, 47, 55 verso, 57, 57 verso, 59 and 60 (D13402, D13405, D13418, D13421, D13422, D13425, D13427; CLXV 45a, 47, 53a, 55, 55a, 57, 58) and studies of the Nelson Monument on folios 61 and 62 verso (D13429, D13432; CLXV 59, 60a).

Thomas Ardill
November 2007

1
Finberg 1909, I, p.480, CLXV 52a.

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