Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Precincts of Edinburgh Castle: The Royal Palace, Portcullis Gate; Continuation of a View of Edinburgh from the Castle


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 114 × 187 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CC 41 a

Catalogue entry

With the sketchbook both in its usual orientation and turned to the right are sketches within the precincts of Edinburgh Castle. At the left of the page is a drawing of the Royal Palace from the Half Moon Battery. The battery wall with a flag-pole and two of its cannon embrasures is at the left, and the Palace, from where Turner made a sketch looking down to the Esplanade (see folio 36 verso; D17565) is on the right. The inscription, ‘can’, may refer to the cannon that is visible in another sketch of the battery and Palace on folio 42 verso (D17577).
Beneath this to the left is a sketch of the turrets and chimney of Portcullis Gate at the north of the Castle. Its arched gateway is shown in the sketch to the right with the book in the usual landscape orientation, with a figure, perhaps holding a shield, standing guard. The same gateway may be roughly sketched on the inside cover of this sketchbook (D40688).
At the right of the page, roughly divided from the other sketches by a vertical line, is the continuation of sketch on folio 42 (D17576) of the view east from the castle. On the present page this part of the sketch looks out over the Firth of Forth with Inchkeith and the shore of Fife.

Thomas Ardill
August 2008

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