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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Clamshell Cave, Staffa 1831

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 35 Recto:
Clamshell Cave, Staffa 1831
Turner Bequest CCLXXIII 35
Pencil on white wove paper, 116 186 mm
Inscribed in blue ink by John Ruskin ‘35’ top left running vertically
Stamped in black ‘CCLXXIII 35’ top right running vertically
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Identified as the Clamshell Cave on Staffa,1 this sketch is identifiable by the curved ridge of striated rock which forms the mouth of the cave to the south. Behind this ridge is a pyramidal rock, also of columnar basalt, called Am Buachaille (or the Herdsman’s Rock). Standing near the entrance to the sea cave, this view looks south across the sea to the island of Iona. There are further views of the Clamshell Cave on folios 30, 34 verso and perhaps 39 (D26799, D26806, D26815).
For references to all of Turners views of Staffa, see folio 40 (D26817).

Thomas Ardill
March 2010

David Wallace-Hadrill and Janet Carolan, ‘Turner on Mull and Staffa, 1831’, [circa 1991], Tate catalogue files, [folios 8, 18].

How to cite

Thomas Ardill, ‘Clamshell Cave, Staffa 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-clamshell-cave-staffa-r1135165, accessed 05 December 2021.