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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Edinburgh, from near Dean Cemetery 1818

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 62 Recto:
Edinburgh, from near Dean Cemetery 1818
Turner Bequest CLXVII 59
Pencil on white wove paper, 112 x 186 mm
Inscribed in blue ink ‘59’ top right
Inscribed in pencil ‘59’ top right
Stamped in black ‘CLXVII 59’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Finberg identified this view of Edinburgh as having been made from near Dean Cemetery. In the foreground is the Water of Leith, over which is an arched bridge. To the left the houses of different sizes and shapes contrast with the ordered Georgian blocks of Edinburgh’s New Town in the middle distance. The focal point of the drawing is Edinburgh Castle, silhouetted against the sky. To the left is a church spire, perhaps that of St Andrew’s (now called St Andrew’s and St George’s).
This page exhibits various signs of damage, including the loss and replacement of the bottom-right and top-left corners. Around the edge of the page is a yellowish mark and scuffing which suggests that the page may have been at some point detached from the sketchbook and stuck down to card. The existence of the inscribed folio number, ‘59’, in pencil and blue ink also suggests that the page was once separated from the rest of the sketchbook.
Turner returned to this view on his next visit to Scotland in 1822 with a drawing in the King’s Visit to Edinburgh sketchbook (Tate D17525; Turner Bequest CC 9a).

Thomas Ardill
March 2008

How to cite

Thomas Ardill, ‘Edinburgh, from near Dean Cemetery 1818 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, March 2008, 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-from-near-dean-cemetery-r1132237, accessed 23 January 2022.