Joseph Mallord William Turner

Tantallon Castle and Bass Rock from the East


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 112 × 186 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXVII 8 b

Catalogue entry

This page forms half of a view of Tantallon Castle and Bass Rock from an outcrop of rocks to the east (continued on folio 8 verso; D13598; CLXVII 8a). Bass Rock is shown on the present page, partially obscured by a shelf of rocks in the foreground and inscribed ‘Bass’. This was the sketch upon which Turner based his watercolour of Tantallon Castle, 1821 (Manchester City Galleries),1 for Scott’s Provincial Antiquities, although the castle itself is more closely based on the sketch on folios 5 verso–6 (D13593–D13594; CLXVII 5a–6). In the finished design, the composition is compressed horizontally and the castle and island are brought closer together. (See 8 verso for more information).
There are small pale brown marks at the top and bottom left and a blue ink mark at the bottom left mirrored on folio 8 verso.

Thomas Ardill
February 2008

Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.426 no.1067.

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