Joseph Mallord William Turner

?Tobermory and the Sound of Mull


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 48 a

Catalogue entry

The same inscription, which probably says ‘Tobermory’, appears on this page five times, although the Mull village is not obvious in any of the sketches. Several houses seem to be depicted in the bottom sketch just beneath the inscription, and this could possibly be a view of Tobermory Bay from just south-east of Calve Island, although the island in this sketch looks too hilly. The present author is sceptical about David Wallace-Hadrill and Janet Carolan’s suggestion that this could be a view from the shore of Ardnamurchan looking towards the headland called Maclean’s Nose.1 With the sun straight ahead, low in the sky and reflected in the water, this must either be a view east in early morning, or west in the evening. The other two sketches show two coastlines, suggesting the Sound of Mull, although the exact locations have not been identified.
For more information about Turner’s visit to Mull see folio 1 verso (D26749).

Thomas Ardill
March 2010

David Wallace-Hadrill and Janet Carolan, ‘Turner on Mull and Staffa’, [circa 1991], Tate catalogue files, [folio 12].

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