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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Edinburgh from the North 1818

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 1 Verso:
Edinburgh from the North 1818
Turner Bequest CLXV 1a
Pencil on white laid paper, 99 x 159 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Finberg, presumably on the strength of the inscription on the following page of this sketchbook (folio 2; Tate D13324; Turner Bequest CLXV 2), tentatively suggested that this is a sketch of the small fishing village of St Abbs on the coast halfway between Berwick-on-Tweed and Dunbar.1 However, the two hills in the background closely resemble Arthur’s Seat and Calton Hill with Nelson’s Monument at its summit in Edinburgh, as seen from the north (see for example this view from Leith sketched in 1822: Tate D17615; Turner Bequest CC 62). The foreground may therefore be Leith Harbour, though it looks unlike it.
There are further sketches of Calton Hill on folios 52 verso, 59 and 60 verso; D13416, D13429, D13432; CLXV 50a, 57 and 58a.

Thomas Ardill
July 2009

Finberg 1909, I, p.478, CLXV 1a.

How to cite

Thomas Ardill, ‘Edinburgh from the North 1818 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, July 2009, 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-the-north-r1131865, accessed 25 November 2020.