Joseph Mallord William Turner

Oban and Other Views from Pulpit Hill


Not on display

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 91 × 153 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXXIV 4

Catalogue entry

David Wallace-Hadrill and Janet Carolan have identified the sketch across the centre of this page, inscribed ‘Oban’ by Turner, as depicting the view of the town from the south, probably from Pulpit Hill.1 Turner sketched the same view in the Staffa sketchbook (Tate D26879; Turner Bequest CCLXXIII 79a) which broadly matches the sketch at the centre of the page. We therefore look across Oban Bay to the cliffs to the north of Oban, with Dunollie Castle on a headland beyond the bay; the castle and headland are together represented as three steps. To the left of the castle are Maiden Island and the coast of Kerrera.
The two sketches above and below the Oban drawing are less easy to identify, though they are likely to have also been made from the top of Pulpit Hill, and therefore may be views of Mull (left) and the Morvern Hills (right).
For references to further sketches of Oban, see the Staffa sketchbook (Tate D26588; Turner Bequest CCLXXIII 58a).

Thomas Ardill
February 2010

David Wallace-Hadrill and Janet Carolan, ‘Turner on the Isle of Skye 1831’, [circa 1991], Tate catalogue files, [folio 5].

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