Joseph Mallord William Turner

Port Askaig, Islay; Jura from the Sound of Islay; Bla Bheinn and Loch Slapin from Torrin

1831

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 201 x 125 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D26586
Turner Bequest CCLXX 76

Catalogue entry

At the head of the page is a sketch of buildings at the foot of cliffs that David Wallace-Hadrill and Janet Carolan have identified as Port Askaig on Islay, as seen looking north from the Sound of Islay.1 Turner made this sketch and another opposite it on folio 75 verso (D26585) as his boat approached or left Port Askaig. (For further sketches see folio 37 verso; D26509).
From this position the artist turned around to draw the view of the island of Jura to the east. At the foot of the page, with the sketchbook inverted, Turner made a drawing inscribed ‘Jura’ which shows the Paps of Jura below a dramatic sky of backlit clouds, indicating that it is dawn as in folio 62 verso (D26559). For references to further sketches of the Paps of Jura, mostly seen from Islay, see folio 74 (D26582).
Turner later utilised the remaining space on this page when he was travelling from Elgol to Broadford on Skye. At the centre of the page is a sketch of a fin-shaped mountain ridge inscribed ‘Bla Bin’. This has been identified as the top of Bla Bheinn (also called Blaven), an outlier to the Black Cuillin range.2 Beneath is a sketch inscribed ‘Loch Shlapin’ which shows a view looking down Loch Slapin with the point of the Sleat Peninsula at the left, and the reflection of the sun’s disk in the water. This was probably made at Torrin Beach where Turner made another sketch of the loch (folio 74 verso; D26585). The view of Bla Bheinn also matches the appearance of the mountain from this point.

Thomas Ardill
March 2010

1
David Wallace-Hadrill and Janet Carolan, ‘Turner Round the Clyde and Islay – 1831’, [1991], Tate catalogue files, ‘checklist’ [folio 6].
2
David Wallace–Hadrill and Janet Carolan, ‘Turner on the Isle of Skye 1831’, [circa 1991], Tate catalogue files, [folios 20, 33].

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