Joseph Mallord William Turner

View Towards Dornoch Firth

1831

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Dimensions
None
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D34846
Turner Bequest CCCXLIV 360

Catalogue entry

This sketch is likely to be the most northerly view that Turner ever made. Inscribed ‘Durnock’, David Wallace-Hadrill and Janet Carolan have identified this as a view looking north to the Dornoch Firth, which lies twenty-five miles north of Inverness. There is no sign of the town of Dornoch with its thirteenth-century cathedral, although Dornoch Point at the mouth of the Firth may be shown just above the inscription.
Wallace-Hadrill and Carolan have attempted to find sketches of Dornoch including possible sketches of parts of the cathedral (Tate D34833–D34834 verso; Turner Bequest CCCLXIV d 350v–351v), but found no convincing possibilities. The current sketch therefore remains the most northerly view to be identified with any certainty.
Turner made his journey north towards the Dornoch Firth from his temporary base at Novar House, where he stayed for a few days with Hugh Munro (see Tate D34797; Turner Bequest CCCLXIV d 330). A sketch of a road and bridge on another loose sheet may have been made during this excursion (Tate D34847; Turner Bequest CCCLXIV d 358).

Thomas Ardill
May 2010

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