Joseph Mallord William Turner

Port Askaig, Islay; and Loch Coruisk, Skye


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 201 × 125 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXX 75 a

Catalogue entry

At the head of the page is a rough sketch of cliffs with buildings at their feet inscribed ‘Port Askaich’. This is Port Askaig on Islay, where Turner landed after his steamboat journey from Glasgow via Talbert on the Kintyre peninsula (see folio 15; D26464). The port is seen here from the Sound of Islay, so the sketch was presumably made as Turner approached or left the port, a circumstance evinced by the lack of clarity and detail, and by the wobbly drawing caused by the movement of the boat. The two small sketches beneath this were probably also made at this time, and may look further along the coast of Islay to the south and north. There is another sketch of Port Askaig opposite this one on folio 76 (D26586); for further views see folio 37 verso (D26509).
Beneath this, with the book turned to the right, is a sketch that has been identified as a view of Loch Coruisk on the Isle of Skye.1 The view is from Sgurr na Stri at the south-west of the loch, as in folios 38 verso and 39 (D26511, D26512), and looks north to the end of the loch which is flanked by the Cuillin Hills. Druim nan Ramh to the right of the loch is recognisable by its rounded ridge compared to the jagged ridge of the mountains to the left. The sketch is labelled with the number ‘3’ (perhaps being the third sketch that Turner made of the loch), and with two words that look like ‘New con’, but Wallace-Hadrill and Carolan have read these as ‘Cor...n’,2 presumably referring to Coruisk or ‘Coruiskin’ as Turner called his watercolour.

Thomas Ardill
March 2010

David Wallace–Hadrill and Janet Carolan, ‘Turner on the Isle of Skye 1831’, [circa 1991], Tate catalogue files, [folios 18–19].
Ibid., [folio 33].

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