Joseph Mallord William Turner

Rocks on the Coast: Canty Bay


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 112 × 186 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXVII 17

Catalogue entry

Having sketched Canty Bay and Bass Rock from above (folio 16; D13611; CLXVII 15), Turner then stepped down the bank to sketch the rocks at the west side of the bay. Bass Rock is again visible in the drawing at the far right, sketched in faint outline, and beyond the rocks is the conical-shaped North Berwick Law. The careful, detailed nature of the picture is comparable with some of Turner’s architectural studies in this sketchbook (for example folio 12; D13605; CLXVII 11), and demonstrates how he paid particular attention to novel features, while being much more economical with objects that had been recorded already. The sketch continues at the left with a few faint lines on folio 17 verso (D13613; CLXVII 16a).
Turner’s inscription, ‘Glen Beach’ is a name no longer used for the area, though there is a glen nearby, and the golf course to the west has been known as Glen Golf Club since 1930.

Thomas Ardill
February 2008

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