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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Dunfermline: Town Hall and Monastery 1831

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 4 Verso:
Dunfermline: Town Hall and Monastery 1831
Turner Bequest CCLXX 4a
Pencil on white wove paper, 201 x 125 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Across the top half of this page and continuing on folio 5 (D26444) is a sketch of a tree-covered bank and a tower with a small spire at the top right. This is Dunfermline Glen from which Turner made several sketches of Dunfermline Abbey (e.g. folio 4; D26442). David Wallace-Hadrill and Janet Carolan have identified the tower as the Old Town House (or Town Hall) on the corner of the High Street and Kirkgate.1 If this identification is correct then the sketch is not particularly accurate as there is no sign of the four corner turrets beneath the spire.
Across the bottom half of the page is a sketch of part of the ruins of the Palace of Dunfermline, with a turreted stone window at the top and part of the Pends to the right. Turner made a diagram of some of the windows of the palace at the bottom of folio 6 (D26446).
Turner visited Dunfermline on his way from Edinburgh to Stirling in 1831 and later used his sketches as the basis for an illustration to a new edition of Sir Walter Scott’s Tales of a Grandfather. See folio 3 verso (D26441) for details and references to further sketches.

Thomas Ardill
June 2010

Wallace-Hadrill and Carolan 1990, p.15.

How to cite

Thomas Ardill, ‘Dunfermline: Town Hall and Monastery 1831 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, June 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-dunfermline-town-hall-and-monastery-r1134877, accessed 29 January 2020.