Joseph Mallord William Turner

Selkirk; and Hailes Castle


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 113 × 185 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXVII 82

Catalogue entry

This sketch, made with the book inverted, which Gerald Finley has identified as Selkirk,1 precedes views of nearby Newark Castle (when the sketchbook is used back-to-front as it generally speaking was). This indicates, as Finley has suggested,2 that Turner made the sketch on his way to Newark (see folio 77; D26066; CCLXVII 79). The view must be from the north of the town, as it shows the spire of the Town Hall on the left bank, with the four-arched Selkirk Bridge on its right. The road that Turner was travelling along, which runs parallel with the Tweed on its way to Newark, is labelled ‘Road’ at the bottom right of the sketch.
As he passed Selkirk, Turner may have made several sketches in the Berwick sketchbook: Tate D25696–D25697 (Turner Bequest CCLXV 30a–31). In 1834 he returned to Selkirk, making sketches in the Edinburgh sketchbook: Tate D26172–D26174 (Turner Bequest CCLXVIII 40–41).
At the top of the page is a sketch of ‘Hailes’ Castle, East Linton, as seen from the north. Turner made a similar, more detailed sketch on folio 47 verso (D26007; CCLXVII 47a).

Thomas Ardill
September 2009

Finley 1972, pp.366 note 51, 382 note 134.
Gerald Finley, Landscapes of Memory: Turner as Illustrator to Scott, London 1980, p.117.

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