Joseph Mallord William Turner

Sketches of Distant Hills

1831

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 125 × 201 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D26561
Turner Bequest CCLXX 63 a

Catalogue entry

Finberg was the first to read the inscription drawn along the fore-edge of this page as ‘Calenr’, referring to the town of Callander near Stirling in Perthshire.1 Henry Crawford then considered the inscription, suggesting that the sketch could be a view from Callander, but not of Callander.2 David Wallace-Hadrill and Janet Carolan got no further in their study of the sketch.3 The hill directly beneath the inscription does bear a slight resemblance to Ben Ledi, and could therefore be a view from around Callander Bridge with the River Teith in the foreground. However, the match is not perfect and there is no further topographical or architectural evidence to suggest that Turner visited Callander in 1831. He did, however, go there in 1834: see the Loch Ard sketchbook (Tate D26667–D26747 complete; Turner Bequest CCLXXII, especially Tate D26744; Turner Bequest CCLXXII 39a), so it is possible that this is one of a handful of sketches in this book that it has been suggested Turner could have made in 1834 (see Stirling and West sketchbook Introduction). Alternatively, this may be a view towards Callander from near Stirling.

Across the bottom half of the page, drawn with the sketchbook inverted, is another view inscribed with several notes. The word above the sketch at the centre may read ‘Campsie Fells’, a range of hills to the south-west of Stirling that Turner sketched from near Stirling Castle (see folio 13 verso; D26461). There are further hill outlines on folios 63 and 64 (D26560, D26562). The other inscriptions on the present page are indecipherable and no further suggested identifications have been made for this sketch.

Thomas Ardill
June 2010

1
Finberg 1909, II, p.870.
2
Crawford 1936, p.24.
3
Wallace-Hadrill and Carolan 1990, p.27.

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