Not on display

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 90 × 112 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXVI 24

Catalogue entry

A view from the beach of the rocky East Lothian coast looking out to sea, although there are no distinctive topographical features in this sketch it is likely to show the rocky promontory upon which Dunbar Castle sits. The rocks and castle are sketched on the two following sketchbook pages, and there is series of views with a similar viewpoint and character in the Scotch Antiquities sketchbook (Tate D13617–D13634 and D13639–D13642; Turner Bequest CLXVII 18a–30 and 31c–33). One sketch in particular (Tate D13641; Turner Bequest CLXVII 32a) matches this view with the same conical-shaped rock in the middle of this page and at the right of the Scotch Antiquities sketchbook drawing. Dunbar was one of the subjects Turner illustrated for Scott’s Provincial Antiquities (Dunbar, circa 1823, watercolour, private collection),1 and this is one of his many sketches in preparation, here intended to record the geological character of the landscape rather than a useable composition.

Thomas Ardill
December 2007

Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.426 no.1066.

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