Joseph Mallord William Turner

Sketches Looking South Down the Firth of Lorn and Towards Mull from the Firth of Lorn


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 116 × 186 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXXIII 56

Catalogue entry

The four sketches on this page were made as Turner crossed the Firth of Lorn on his way to Oban, having travelled down the Sound of Mull from Tobermory (a trip recorded in sketches over folios 48–57; D26833–D26852).1
At the top of the page Turner sketched the view south down the Firth of Lorn. With the coast of ‘Mull’ at the far right and Argyll at the left, we look towards the Garvellach islands, which are shaded with the island of Colonsay (inscribed ‘Colonsa’) to the right. In the distance is one of the peaks of the island of ‘Jura’. The artist turned to the south-east for the next sketch, which looks down the west coast of the island of ‘Kerrera’, which Turner visited and made sketches of elsewhere in this sketchbook (folios 62–76; D26862–D26890).
For the third and fourth sketches the artist turned back to the west to draw the Isle of Mull. Wallace-Hadrill and Carolan claim that the third sketch includes Duart Castle,2 which would be at the right, though the present author cannot make it out. However, the mountains of Dùn da Ghaoithe at the right and Chreach Beinn at the left are easily identifiable. Mull is seen again in the bottom sketch, this time from slightly further off.

Thomas Ardill
March 2010

Identified by David Wallace-Hadrill and Janet Carolan, ‘Turner on Mull and Staffa’, [circa 1991], Tate catalogue files, [folios 15, 21].

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