Joseph Mallord William Turner

Sketches of Kames Castle; Islay; and Other Views


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 201 × 125 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXX 77

Catalogue entry

Turner used this page on at least three occasions. The first was during his steamboat journey from Glasgow to Islay. Shortly after his boat left Rothesay on the Isle of Bute and entered the Kyles of Bute it passed the head of Kames Bay. Here Turner made this sketch at the top of the page looking into the Bay at Port Bannatyne with two boats in the harbour to the left and Kames Castle to the right. He inscribed the sketch ‘S Kaims C’, presumably meaning south Kames Castle, perhaps to distinguish it from Wester Kames Castle which stands nearby to the north.
The third sketch from the top is inscribed ‘Islay’. The island at the left is identified as Jura by the distinctive conical-shaped mountains called the Paps. This sketch may have been made during Turner’s approach to Islay, which lies just to the west of Jura, from West Loch Tarbert. The second and fourth sketches from the top, which continue on folio 76 verso (D26587), have not been identified but may also have been made from the deck of a steamboat as it travelled towards Islay. Turner made further sketches during this journey on folios 73 verso and 77 verso (D26581, D26589).
At the bottom of the page, drawn with the sketchbook inverted and continuing on folio 76 verso, is a sketch inscribed ‘Knock’. This presumably refers to Knock Castle on Skye, though it is not shown in the sketch. See folio 78 (D26590) for a sketch of the castle.

Thomas Ardill
June 2010

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