Joseph Mallord William Turner

Sketches of the Sound of Kerrera

1831

Not on display
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Pen and ink and graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 153 x 91 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D41019

Catalogue entry

Across the inside front cover and folio 1 (D20936) of this sketchbook is a series of six sketches of coastlines. David Wallace-Hadrill and Janet Carolan have written that these sketches were made immediately after Turner left Oban pier on a steamboat bound for Skye.1 The views look south down the Sound of Kerrera from near Oban Bay, with the Gallanach Cliffs on the left and the island of Kerrera on the right.
At the very top of the current page, obscured by the executors’ endorsements, is a sketch of the outline of distant hills, perhaps those on the island of Mull. The Gallanach Cliffs are depicted in the next three sketches, with the sketch at the bottom of the page perhaps depicting the cliffs again with Carding Mill.
Turner continued to sketch from the deck of the boat as it moved away from Oban and made its way across the Firth of Lorn to the Sound of Mull; his journey can be followed (roughly in order) through the pages of this sketchbook.

Thomas Ardill
February 2010

1
David Wallace–Hadrill and Janet Carolan, ‘Turner on the Isle of Skye 1831’, [circa 1991], Tate catalogue files, [folio 3].

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