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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Castle on a Headland 1831

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 3 Recto:
Castle on a Headland 1831
Turner Bequest CCLXXIII 3
Pencil on white wove paper, 116 x 186 mm
Inscribed in blue ink by John Ruskin ‘3’ top left running vertically
Stamped in black ‘CCLXXIII 3’ top right running vertically
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
David Wallace-Hadrill and Janet Carolan suggest that this sketch of a building on a headland may be either Dunollie Castle near Oban or Arros Castle on Mull.1 Turner made dozens of sketches of ruins on headlands like this as he steamed around the islands of Mull, Skye and Staffa, many of which look remarkably alike (for example see Tate D26958; Turner Bequest CCLXXV 2a). It is therefore impossible to be certain which castle this sketch depicts.

Thomas Ardill
March 2010

David Wallace-Hadrill and Janet Carolan, ‘Turner on Mull and Staffa, 1831’, [circa 1991], Tate catalogue files, ‘Staffa Checklist’ [folio 18].

How to cite

Thomas Ardill, ‘Castle on a Headland 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-castle-on-a-headland-r1135110, accessed 26 January 2022.