Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Bass Rock

1818

Not on display

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 99 × 159 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D13329
Turner Bequest CLXV 5

Catalogue entry

A view of the Bass Rock probably drawn from Tantallon Castle near North Berwick. As Finberg points out, the sketch is very similar to folio 3 verso (D13326; CLXV 3a),1 although he misidentified the island; this is perhaps a little more finished than the previous version. Turner treats the rock in the same way he would architecture, carefully tracing the outline, and adding details and hatching to indicate its shape. There are numerous sketches of Bass Rock in all of the 1818 Scottish sketchbook, and Turner returned to it in 1822. His watercolour design for the Provincial Antiquities in 1826 was a composite of these many sketches, Bass Rock, circa 1824 (Lady Lever Art Gallery, Port Sunlight).2

Thomas Ardill
October 2007

1
Finberg 1909, I, p.478, CLXV 5.
2
Wilton 1979, p.426 no.1069.

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