Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Canongate Tolbooth, Edinburgh


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 111 × 181 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXVIII 1

Catalogue entry

The Tolbooth on the Canongate in Edinburgh’s Royal Mile is seen here at the right of the sketch from the east. This is one of four sketches in this book of the Tolbooth, which belong to a small group of drawings of the Royal Mile in Edinburgh’s Old Town. There are two quick sketches of the Canongate with the Tolbooth on folio 2 (D26097), and a more detailed sketch of it from the west on folio 19 verso (D26131). Further sketches of the Royal Mile are on folios 18 verso–19, 75, 76 and 77 (D26129–D26130, D26237, D26239, D26241).
The inscriptions on this page are not by Turner. ‘3/6’ at the top right of the page is probably the price of this sketchbook (three shillings and six pence), and was therefore written by the bookseller John Thomson of St Andrew Square, Edinburgh, from whom the book was purchased (see Edinburgh sketchbook 1834 Introduction). The other inscriptions are the endorsements of the executors of the Turner Bequest.
This is the verso of folio 1. The recto is a marble-covered flyleaf so was not listed by Finberg; this page is therefore ‘CCLXVIII 1’.1
There are brown stains in the page gutter and at the left of the page, which are a result of the glue on the reverse of this page. The stain in the gutter has also transferred to folio 2.

Thomas Ardill
November 2010

Finberg 1909, II, p861.

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