Joseph Mallord William Turner

Sketches of The Sound of Mull; Dunollie Castle or Gylen Castle; ?Duart Castle


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 116 × 186 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXXIII 61

Catalogue entry

The three sketches on this page were apparently made on separate occasions. Across the inside of the page, with the gutter at the top, is a sketch inscribed ‘Ar[d]tornish’, which David Wallace-Hadrill and Janet Carolan have described as the ‘Sound of Mull with Ardtornish Castle’.1 There is no sign of the castle ruin, however, so the sketch may in fact be the view from Ardtornish Point, looking south-east down the Sound of Mull with the cliffs above Ardtornish Bay at the left, and the mountains at the east of the Isle of Mull at the right.
Wallace-Hadrill and Carolan have tentatively suggested that the sketch at the middle of the page, drawn with the book inverted, may be of Gylen Castle from the east,2 as in folio 72 (D26882). They make another suggestion, however, in an unpublished article: Dunollie Castle, which is perhaps more compelling when the sketch is compared to the view of Dunollie from Gallanach Bay on folio 60 verso (D26859). The current sketch may show the castle from nearby, or from the east coast of the island of Kerrera across the Sound of Kerrera.
Wallace-Hadrill and Carolan had no suggestions for the final sketch on the page. But bearing in mind the sketch of Duart Castle on the reverse of this page – folio 61 verso (D26861) – the subject is a possibility. Indeed, the hills at the left match the profiles of Sgùrr Dearg and Dun da Ghaoithe as seen from the west coast of Kerrera, with the castle on a promontory at the centre of the sketch and the Sound of Mull beyond it, with the Morvern coast to the right. There are further views from the west coast of Kerrera on folios 61 verso–63 (D26861–D26864).

Thomas Ardill
February 2010

Wallace-Hadrill and Carolan 1991, p.28.

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