Joseph Mallord William Turner

View down Loch Awe, with the Slopes of Ben Cruachan on the Right, from Kilchurn Castle


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Gouache and graphite on paper
Support: 345 × 484 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest LVIII 15

Catalogue entry

A finished watercolour of this subject is in Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery.1 It is uncertain whether that or a lost subject was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1802 (377) as Kilchern Castle, with the Cruchan Ben Mountains, Scotland: Noon (see the 1801 Scotch Lakes sketchbook; Tate D03027; Turner Bequest LVI 58a). However, it seems that the present ‘Scottish Pencil’ drawing shows the view from the castle, without including it. The conspicuous building on an island in the Plymouth watercolour would then probably be a smaller ruined castle on the island of Inistraoch; the lost work based on Tate D03395 (Turner Bequest LVIII 16) is therefore more likely to be that exhibited in 1802.2
The longstanding misidentification of the subject with the exhibited work may have prevented alternative identifications being considered, and the scene depicted may in fact be altogether different: for instance, the large mountain on the right could be Ben More, and the castle Castle Dochart; see Tate D03397 (Turner Bequest LVIII 18).
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.339 no.344, pl.55.
See Andrew Wilton in Wilton, Inge Bodesohn–Vogel and Helena Robinson, William Turner: Licht und Farbe, exhibition catalogue, Museum Folkwang, Essen 2001, p.285 under nos.28 and 29.

Andrew Wilton
May 2013

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