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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Bass Rock from the South-West 1818

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 11 Verso:
Bass Rock from the South-West 1818
Turner Bequest CLXV 11a
Pencil on white laid paper, 99 x 159 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
A view of the Bass Rock drawn with the book inverted. This drawing shows Bass Rock in simple outline with rocks off the coast in the foreground. Rare for drawings in this sketchbook, Turner has included clouds to the left of the island. The clouds are a particular feature of Turner’s watercolour of the Bass Rock for the Provincial Antiquities engraving (circa 1824, Lady Lever Art Gallery, Port Sunlight),1 based on sketches in this book and from his 1822 tour. The impulse to draw the clouds here was perhaps what inspired and helped him to paint such elaborate formations in his watercolour. There are very similar views on the next two pages (folios 12, 12 verso; D13343, D13344; CLXV 12, 12a), and Turner depicts clouds in relation to Bass Rock again on folio 35 (D13383; CLXV 35).

Thomas Ardill
October 2006

Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.426 no.1069.

How to cite

Thomas Ardill, ‘Bass Rock from the South-West 1818 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, October 2006, 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-bass-rock-from-the-south-west-r1131884, accessed 15 June 2021.