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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Edinburgh from the South; The Firth of Forth 1818

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 70 Recto:
Edinburgh from the South; The Firth of Forth 1818
Turner Bequest CLXVII 87
Pencil on white wove paper, 112 x 186 mm
Blindstamped with the Turner Bequest monogram lower centre
Stamped in black ‘CLXVII 87’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Continuing from folio 69 verso (D13705; CLXVII 66a) is a view of Edinburgh from the south, showing here Arthur’s Seat and the Firth of Forth to the east. The view is probably from the Braid Hills so we look across fields toward the mighty hill with the village of Duddingston at its foot to the right, and north-east towards the mouth of the estuary with what may be the Bass Rock and, at the far right of the page, North Berwick Law. At the top of the page is a slight sketch that Finberg identified as of the Firth of Forth.
This page has been stamped with the final number in the Turner Bequest sequence for this sketchbook: ‘CLXVII 87’, and is therefore out of Finberg’s sequence. The page was one of four that were unbound and out of sequence when he catalogued the sketchbook, as he noted ‘The following pages though unnumbered appear to have once belonged to this book’, and he placed them all at the end of the sketchbook sequence.1 Sometime since 1909 it was realised that the present page contained a continuation of the drawing on folio 69, and was thus rebound in its present position (the gutter of the page has been reconstructed, indicating that the page had been cut out of the book). Finberg’s inventory also confuses the recto and verso of the page indicating that he may have been unsure which way round it went. Thus the inventory describes CLXVII 87 as ‘View of Edinburgh, with St George’s Church’, and 87a as ‘Arthur’s Seat (?)’ (folio 70 verso; D3746; CLXVII 87a). As noted above, the present page shows Arthur’s Seat and its verso contains the image of St George’s Church.
For more information on the page order of this sketchbook see the Concordance and Technical notes.

Thomas Ardill
March 2008

Finberg 1909, I, p.487, CLXVII 87a.

How to cite

Thomas Ardill, ‘Edinburgh from the South; The Firth of Forth 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-the-south-the-firth-of-forth-r1132253, accessed 23 May 2022.