Joseph Mallord William Turner

Shipping at Leith; and the Firth of Forth Near Barnbougle


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 114 × 187 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CC 53

Catalogue entry

This page contains four sketches made on the Firth of Forth. Three contain shipping around Leith, including vessels of the George IV’s royal squadron, and one showing a view further up the river. The royal squadron at its station between Leith and the Island of Inchkeith is shown against the backdrop of Arthur’s Seat and Calton Hill across the middle of the page (see King’s Visit to Edinburgh 1822 sketchbook Introduction for more information).
Two further sketches show part of the squadron. At the top left is one of the larger vessels at anchor with a boat at sail to the left and Arthur’s Seat in the background. The sketch continues very slightly onto folio 52 verso (D17596). Two of the yachts of the royal squadron – perhaps the Royal George (see folio 4; D17514) and the Royal Sovereign (see folio 52 verso) – are shown in a sketch at the top right with a smaller attending craft to the right of the nearer yacht.
At the bottom of the page is a view east along the Firth of Forth which has been identified by its inscription (which remains partly indecipherable) as showing a part of the southern bank near ‘Barnbougle’ Castle, although the castle itself may not be included. The island at the right may be Cramond. There is a similar view on folio 35 (D17562).

Thomas Ardill
September 2008

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