Joseph Mallord William Turner

Rhymer’s Glen, Abbotsford


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 185 x 113 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXVII 5 a

Catalogue entry

With the sketchbook turned to the right there are two studies of Rhymer’s Glen on Sir Walter Scott’s Abbotsford estate (see folio 4 verso; D25934; CCLXVII 4a). The bottom sketch shows the bridge from the same position as the sketch on folio 6 (D25937; CCLXVII 6), with the dark shapes of two figures standing on it. Turner visited the glen on 7 August 1831 with Mrs Lockhart and Miss Scott,1 so it is presumably they who are depicted. An inscription at the top left of the sketch may read ‘sun’, therefore indicating its position.
The sketch at the top of the page is rougher and more obscure. However, a series of five parallel horizontal lines are reminiscent of lines at the left of the drawing of the glen in the Edinburgh sketchbook in 1834: Tate D26195 (Turner Bequest CCLXVIII 51a). Therefore this sketch probably shows the same place: the banks of the glen at the left of the bridge.

Thomas Ardill
September 2009

As recorded in Robert Cadell’s diary, see Finley 1972, p.382.

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