Joseph Mallord William Turner

Sketches of Dunblane Cathedral from the North


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 190 x 113 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXIX 58 a

Catalogue entry

Drawn with the sketchbook turned to the right, a series of sketches of Dunblane Cathedral from the Allan Water to the south run down the page and continue below on folio 59 (D26371). The sequence records Turner leaving Dunblane. After making his final sketch Turner struck off west for Doune (folio 59).
Starting at the top of the page is a sketch of Dunblane Bridge, perhaps made from the north of the structure which crosses the Allan Water 350 metres to the south of the cathedral. The bridge is seen again in the sketch beneath, this time at the right of a view of the cathedral from the Allan Water to the south. The bank of the river is in the foreground and the cathedral rises above the trees at the top left of the sketch.
The third sketch may have been made from the bridge itself. The cathedral is now much more prominently situated on a rise above the river. Turner has been careful to mark in the main architectural features including the bell tower, the west gable and the pinnacles at the east end, as well as indicating the buttresses and windows. The riverbank is shown again in the foreground, this time with a figure standing at the left.
We are certainly on the bridge for the next sketch down. Looking northwards along the Allan Water, the cathedral, again in some detail, is at the top right of the sketch. The houses by the river at the centre of the sketch can still be seen today on Millrow. At the very bottom left of the page is a little sketch of a road or perhaps the Allan Water again with houses either side. The final sketch of the sequence is at the top of folio 59.
For further information about Turner’s sketches of Dunblane, see folio 57 (D26367).

Thomas Ardill
October 2010

Read full Catalogue entry

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