Joseph Mallord William Turner

Sketches of Edinburgh Castle from Near Leith; Edinburgh from the Water of Leith; and two Vessles


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 187 × 114 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CC 77 a

Catalogue entry

With the sketchbook turned to the right are two views of Edinburgh from near Leith in the north. The top sketch looks towards Edinburgh Castle with St Cuthbert’s on the left and the dome of St George’s at the right. Beneath is a view of Edinburgh from the Water of Leith. This is a favourite view of Turner’s; one that he drew several times in this sketchbook (Inside front cover, 9 verso, 37 verso–38, 76 verso; D17525, D17567–D17568, D17641).
In the second sketch we stand on the banks of the Water of Leith and look through the trees at the left to Arthur’s Seat with Nelson’s Monument on Calton Hill to its right. The castle is very faintly indicated in the centre of the image with the dome of St George’s at the right.
With the sketchbook turned to the left are two studies of boats, one at anchor and one fully rigged at sail, with a flag flying from its main mast. An inscription next to the boat reads something like ‘Marchby’.
There is some light foxing across the centre of the page.

Thomas Ardill
September 2008

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