Joseph Mallord William Turner

Views of the Firth of Forth Between Port Edgar and Blackness


Not on display

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 90 × 112 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXVI 42 a

Catalogue entry

The three or four views on this double page (continuing folio 43; D13533) can be identified if they are compared to the subjects depicted on the previous and following pages (41 verso–42 and 43 verso–44; D13530–D13531 and D13534–D13535). The views on 41 verso–42 were both made from Hopetoun House on the south side of the Firth of Forth which is also referred to in an inscription on folio 44. The house itself may be the building that can be seen at the top of the cliffs on the present page. The buildings at the base of the cliff in the foreground are probably the same as those on 43 verso, and are inscribed here ?‘3 windows 3 fish[ermen’s] houses’.
The shape of these headlands and rocky coastline match the appearance of the coast along the south of the Firth of Forth between Port Edgar (a small port just west of Queensferry) in the east and Blackness Castle to the west, and the outline of the castle can be seen beyond the cliffs on 43 (as in 37 verso; D13522). These same headlands and castle are repeated in a sketch at the bottom of folio 44, and again from further to the east on folios 45 verso–46 (D13538–D13539).
At the top of these pages is another view of the Forth, perhaps showing Inchgarvie again, with an inscription on folio 43 that may read ‘W[est] of Garvie’. This view is repeated across the top of folios 43 verso–44. At the bottom of the present page the inscription (‘Roth [?]B[e]yond’) may refer to Rosyth Castle, which lies directly opposite the point from which these sketches were made on the north back of the Forth. The sketch at the bottom of 43 may show Rosyth Castle framed by trees on the landward side.

Thomas Ardill
December 2007

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