Joseph Mallord William Turner

View of Edinburgh, from the Stewart Monument


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 113 × 190 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXIX 79

Catalogue entry

Drawn with the sketchbook inverted over a double-page spread (continuing on folio 78 verso; D26409), this sketch depicts the view of Edinburgh from the western end of Calton Hill. Prominent in the foreground at the centre of the sketch is the Dugald Stewart Monument (not the Burns’ Monument as has previously been suggested).1 Also in the foreground, shaded in just behind the monument to the left, is the Governor’s House of Calton Gaol. Edinburgh Castle is prominent at the upper centre-right of the page with North Bridge below it and St Giles’s Cathedral and the Tron Kirk to the left. At the lower right of the page is the dome of the General Register House.
The sketch belongs to a series of similar views that show Turner experimenting with variant compositions: folios 76 verso–79 verso (D26405–D26411). Of these, the present sketch is perhaps the most successfully and fully developed composition. See folio 79 verso for more information.

Thomas Ardill
November 2010

Finberg 1909, II, p.867; Butlin, Wilton and Gage 1974, p.126 no.451.

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