Joseph Mallord William Turner

Scarborough Castle from Inland


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 179 × 254 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXXXIV 65

Catalogue entry

Here Turner looks to the east, with Scarborough Castle descending towards the North Sea on the skyline. The approaches to the castle are now largely built over, though glimpses of the view can be seen from Castle Road and Longwestgate; Turner shows a rural prospect, with a cow lurking by the trees on the left.
There is a closer view of the castle from a similar angle in the Scarborough 1 sketchbook (Tate D11917; Turner Bequest CL 3) and comparable views in the same book (Tate D11940; Turner Bequest CL 21) and in the Scarborough 2 sketchbook (Tate D11960–D11962; Turner Bequest CLI 8, 9, 10). As David Hill notes in his entry for it, D11940 bears similar inscriptions, and may have been made on the same occasion, likely to have been in 1816; see also the similar comments under Tate D11972 (Turner Bequest CLI 18) in Scarborough 2.
Turner had visit the town on numerous occasions over the years, first making drawings in the Dunbar and Chester sketchbooks of 1801 (Tate; Turner Bequest LIV, LXXXII), and a handful of finished watercolours culminated in Scarborough of about 1825 (Tate D18142; Turner Bequest CCVIII I),1 engraved in 1826 for the Ports of England.
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.387, no.751, reproduced.

Matthew Imms
July 2014

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