Joseph Mallord William Turner

Sketches of Kinfauns Castle and Kinnoull Tower near Perth


Not on display

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 119 × 184 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXXII 31

Catalogue entry

The five sketches on this page were all made from the north shore of the River Tay, near the village of Kinfauns to the east of Perth.1 At the top of the page is a view of Kinfauns Castle from nearby to the east. The castle was designed by a friend of Turner’s, Sir Robert Smirke (1752–1845) and built for Lord Grey in 1822. Turner probably sketched it for a potential illustration to Scott’s novel, The Fair Maid of Perth, 1828 as one of the characters is the Provost of Perth, Sir Patrick Charteris of Kinfauns. Although Turner was not, in the event, asked to illustrate the novel, a later edition was illustrated with an engraving of the castle after Clarkson Stanfield.2 There are further sketches of the castle on folios 28 and 29 (D26722, D26721; CCLXXII 30, 29a).
At the upper right of the page is a view of Kinnoull Tower, which stands above the steep southern slopes of Kinnoull Hill overlooking the Tay. This is seen from the east, probably from the same vantage point as the castle sketch. There is a view of both the castle and tower across folios 28 verso–29 (D26723–D26721; CCLXXII 30a–29a). The tower is seen again in a small sketch at the bottom left of the page. This is a view west along the River Tay, with the silhouette of a boat and Kinnoull Hill with the tower at the right. There is another view of the river in the sketch above, this time with several boats. Folio 29 verso (D26720; CCLXXII 29) shows a similar view of the River Tay with shipping, as seen from nearby.
The final sketch on this page is at the lower left, and was drawn with the book turned to the right. This depicts a house with a gate to the left. It is not a good match for Kinfauns Castle, but may be another building nearby.
For sketches of nearby Perth and information about Turner’s visit to the area, see folio 31 verso (D26744; CCLXXII 41).

Thomas Ardill
October 2010

Wallace-Hadrill and Carolan 1990, p.21.
William Forrest after Clarkson Stanfield, Kinfauns, engraving illustrated in The Fair Maid of Perth, vol.XI of The Waverley Novels [Abbotsford Edition], Edinburgh 1846, printed facing p.61.

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