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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Edinburgh Castle 1818

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 10 Verso:
Edinburgh Castle 1818
Turner Bequest CLXV 10a
Pencil on white laid paper, 99 x 159 mm
Inscribed in pencil by Turner ‘7’ and ‘5’ upper centre
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Although this page is preceded and followed in the sketchbook by views along the coast at Dunbar and North Berwick, leading Finberg to describe it tentatively as ruins, the drawing is in fact of Edinburgh Castle seen from the north-east, either from the top of Princes Street or from Calton Hill. Turner has inscribed parts of the building with the numbers ‘7’ and ‘5’, denoting the number of cannon embrasures in the castle battlements. The part of the castle inscribed ‘7’ is the Half Moon Battery, and the part marked ‘5’ is the Forewell Battery. The Argyle Battery runs along to the right, and above these defences are the various buildings that make up the castle complex. A very similar drawing in terms of style and composition appears later in the book and shows the castle from the opposite side (south) (folio 43, D13397; CLXV 43).

Thomas Ardill
October 2007

How to cite

Thomas Ardill, ‘Edinburgh Castle 1818 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, October 2007, 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-edinburgh-castle-r1131882, accessed 05 March 2021.