Joseph Mallord William Turner

Sketches of Leith Harbour; Edinburgh from the North-west; and a Yacht of the Royal Squadron


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 76 a

Catalogue entry

This page has been used for three sketches. With the sketchbook in its usual orientation is a slight sketch of a three-masted ship which may be, as Finley suggest, the Royal George (see folio 4; D17514), or perhaps the Royal Sovereign, another yacht in the royal squadron.
With the sketchbook turned to the right are two further sketches. At the top is a sketch of several sheds or warehouses, probably, judging from the vertical lines of masts or flag-poles, at Leith Harbour. Although it does not match exactly, the sketch has very much the same character as sketches of Leith Harbour on folio 66 verso and 71 verso (D17622, D17632).
Beneath this is a view of Edinburgh from the north-west very similar to one on folio 9 verso, which is comparable to a view of Edinburgh from near Dean Cemetery made by Turner during his previous visit to Scotland in 1818 (Tate D13690; Turner Bequest CLXVII 59). The most prominent landmark in the sketch is the dome of St George’s Church (now the West Register House, in Charlotte Square) at the centre of the horizon. The Water of Leith winds its way towards the city in the foreground.

Thomas Ardill
August 2008

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