Joseph Mallord William Turner

Sketches of Shorelines around the Moray Firth and perhaps elsewhere


Not on display
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 104 x 163 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXXVII 13

Catalogue entry

The four sketches of coastlines on this page are presumably connected as Turner has numbered them 1–5. The logic of Turner’s order – with ‘1’ at the upper-centre of the page, ‘2’ above it, ‘3’ beneath, and ‘4’ and ‘5’ inverted at the bottom of the page – is not evident. The identification of the sketches is also unknown, although David Wallace-Hadrill and Janet Carolan have made a number of suggestions,1 and there are further possibilities.
Wallace-Hadrill and Carolan suggest that sketch ‘2’, at the top of the page, may be Fort George as seen from the Black Isle (as in folio 12 verso; D27066). With this in mind, the sketch beneath may show the bay at Rosemarkie (see folio 62; D27126). However, the hill above the bay and the amount of shipping suggests that this may be North Kessock with Ord Hill (see folio 6; D27054), or, as Carolan suggests, either ‘Dingwall’, ‘Cromarty’ or ‘Evanton’. Sketch ‘3’ may be inscribed ‘Ardullie Lo’, referring to Ardullie Lodge, a property near Evanton owned by Turner’s friend and patron, H.A.J. Munro of Novar, who he visited while in Scotland. Wallace-Hadrill suggests that sketch ‘4’, at the bottom of the page, may be inscribed ‘Kessock Fe[rry]’, though this is likely to be a view from North Kessock (perhaps up Beauly Firth), rather than of the ferry landing (see folio 9 verso; D27061). At the fore-edge of the page is a sketch inscribed ‘5’ and ‘coll’ (or ‘cold’), which depicts either a shoreline or a band of cloud.

Thomas Ardill
April 2010

David Wallace-Hadrill and Janet Carolan, ‘CCLXXVII Inverness Checklist’, [circa 1991], Tate catalogue files, [unpaginated].

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