Joseph Mallord William Turner

Sketches of Invergarry Castle

1831

Not on display

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 150 x 184 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D26984
Turner Bequest CCLXXVI 12

Catalogue entry

The two sketches and five studies on this page are of Invergarry Castle on the western shore of Loch Oich, about seven miles south-south-west of Fort Augustus. Turner made these sketches as he approached the castle by water from the south. The first sketch he made was at the bottom of the page (the fore-edge) and was drawn with the sketchbook inverted. The castle is seen here from a distance and is therefore depicted in outline only. Turner flipped the sketchbook around for his next drawing, making a sketch of the same view at the page gutter, though this time with a little more detail in the castle ruins and the shape of the rocks.
As the boat Turner was travelling on approached the castle, the artist made four studies of the ruins. The first is the sketch at the centre left of the page, which shows the different parts of the remains and indicates the windows. Several trees are included at the left to provide a sense of scale. As he passed the castle Turner made three further studies, two to the right and one faint sketch at the very top of the page. There is also a study at the right of the page (drawn with the sketchbook inverted) of an unknown building which David Wallace-Hadrill and Janet Carolan have suggested may be either at Laggan or Invergarry.1
Further sketches of Invergarry Castle are on folios 12 verso, 13 verso and perhaps also on folio 10 verso (D26985, D26987, D26981). There is also a sketch of Loch Oich, though without the castle, on folio 11 verso (D26983).

Thomas Ardill
April 2010

1
David Wallace-Hadrill and Janet Carolan, ‘Turner’s 1831 Sketchbook T.B. CCLXXVI Fort Augustus’, [circa 1992–3], Tate catalogue files, [unpaginated].

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