Joseph Mallord William Turner

Roslin Castle seen from the East, with the North Esk River


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 115 × 164 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest LIV 39 a

Catalogue entry

Inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation, this is one of a long sequence of drawings made at or near Roslin, as far as folio 49 verso (D02679). Turner was no doubt attracted by the many legends associated with the place, though at this point he had not begun to be involved with the novelist Walter Scott (1771–1832), for whose Provincial Antiquities of Scotland he made a watercolour of Roslin Castle in about 1820 (Indianapolis Museum of Art),1 which was engraved in 1822 (Tate impressions: T04493, T06062). This is sometimes incorrectly known as ‘Hawthornden’, a nearby castle which Turner may have recorded in some drawings in this book; see folios 41 verso–43 recto (D02664–D02667).
Many views of the ruins at Roslin accessible to Turner are no longer visible owing to a luxuriant growth of large trees in the Glen below the Chapel and Castle.

Andrew Wilton
May 2013

Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.426 no.1065, reproduced.

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