J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Aros Castle, Sound of Mull 1831

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Inside Back Cover:
Aros Castle, Sound of Mull 1831
Turner Bequest
Pencil on white wove paper, 91 x 153 mm
Inscribed in pencil by Turner ?‘Arossa’ upper centre
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
David Wallace-Hadrill and Janet Carolan have identified these two sketches of a ruin, and another sketch of a rocky shoreline, as Aros Castle near Salen on Mull, as seen from the Sound of Mull to the south-east.1 The suggestion is persuasive considering the sketches of Aros opposite these on folio 10 verso (D26954), and if the inscription is read as a variation of the name, such as ‘Arossa’, as the authors’ suggest. Due to the irregular shape of the ruins, the castle, in the present sketches, has quite a different shape to folio 10 verso. However, a sketch in the Staffa sketchbook, inscribed ‘Arros’, confirms that this is indeed the same castle (Tate D26839; Turner Bequest CCLXXIII 50a).
Across the centre of the page, Aros Castle is seen standing on a headland on the Sound of Mull to the south-east, with the crags of Sgiath Ruadh, or Sgiath Mhòr to the left. Turner drew the castle again in slightly more detail to the top left of this sketch, and at the top of the page is a view of what is probably the same Mull shoreline, but this time with the castle omitted.

Thomas Ardill
March 2010

David Wallace-Hadrill and Janet Carolan, ‘Turner on the Isle of Skye 1831’, [circa 1991], Tate catalogue files, [folios 6, 30.]

How to cite

Thomas Ardill, ‘Aros Castle, Sound of Mull 1831 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, March 2010, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, December 2012, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-aros-castle-sound-of-mull-r1135329, accessed 03 July 2020.