Joseph Mallord William Turner

Sketches of Loch Katrine; and Loch Lomond


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 101 × 158 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXXI 14

Catalogue entry

David Wallace-Hadrill and Janet Carolan have suggested that the sketches on this page are views of Loch Katrine and Loch Lomond.1 At the top of the page is a sketch of the east end of Loch Katrine with Ben Venue at the right, as seen from the water about halfway along the loch. Turner’s sketches of the loch tend to concentrate on the east end, including the sketch in the Stirling and the West sketchbook (Tate D26528; Turner Bequest CCLXX 47) that formed the basis of Turner’s watercolour, Loch Katrine circa 1832 (British Museum),2 engraved to illustrate volume 8 of Sir Walter Scott’s Poetical Works, The Lady of the Lake in 1834.
The second sketch of Loch Katrine is a small and slight sketch at the right of the page, made with the book turned to the left and overlapping the other sketches on the page. The sketch consists of a few jagged lines that are suggestive of rocks, and is inscribed ‘The Goblin’ which Wallace-Hadrill and Carolan have related to the Goblin’s Cave, another name for Coir nan Uriskin, an area of the lower northern slopes of Ben Venue.3 Turner made a more careful sketch of Coir nan Uriskin in the Stirling and the West sketchbook (Tate D26498; Turner Bequest CCLXX 32). There are further sketches of Loch Katrine on folios 11, 11 verso and 16 verso of the current sketchbook (D26639, D26640, D26650).
The sketches at the centre and the bottom of the page are of Loch Lomond. The bottom sketch is identifiable as the view south-east down the loch from Tarbet. The peak of Ben Lomond is at the left and at the right is the western shore of the loch. The sketch is inscribed, though it is hard to decipher Turner’s writing. Wallace-Hadrill and Carolan have suggested that it may say ‘Aberfoyle’ (a village on Loch Ard) or ‘Alexandria’ (at the south of Loch Lomond).4 However, with the above identification in mind, ‘Harbour’ (as in Tarbet harbour) may be more likely. The sketch at the centre of the page may be of Tarbet, as seen from the deck of a steamboat on Loch Lomond.

Thomas Ardill
October 2009

David Wallace-Hadrill and Janet Carolan, ‘Turner Round the Clyde and In Islay – 1831’, 1991, Tate catalogue files, folio 8.
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.429 no.1084.
Wallace-Hadrill and Carolan 1991, folio 8.

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