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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Gylen Castle, Kerrera and the Firth of Lorn from the North 1831

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 75 Verso:
Gylen Castle, Kerrera and the Firth of Lorn from the North 1831
Turner Bequest CCLXXIII 75a
Pencil on white wove paper, 116 x 186 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
This is the first of twenty-five pages of sketches of Gylen Castle on the island of Kerrera (folios 63 verso–75 verso; D26865–D26889).1 Along with views on folios 74–75 (D26886–D26888), this view is from the north and shows the castle standing on a headland rock at the south of the island. There is another headland at the left from which Turner stood to make some of his sketches of the castle (see folio 70; D26889), and beyond the island is the Firth of Lorn with the coast of Argyll at the left and Mull at the right, and several islands (probably the Garvellachs) in between.

Thomas Ardill
February 2010

Although David Wallace-Hadrill and Janet Carolan considered this sketch to be among the last that Turner made of Gylen Castle as he was ‘withdrawing northwards towards the island track’, this assessment contradicts their own statement that the Staffa sketchbook ‘has to be read backwards’. (Wallace-Hadrill and Carolan 1991, pp.20, 28.) Although it is impossible to know for certain in what order Turner executed his sketches of Gylen Castle, it is possible to read them as starting on folio 75 verso with his approach to the castle from the north, and ending at folio 63 verso when he drew out of sight of the castle as he walked away from it to the west (see folio 73 verso; D26885).

How to cite

Thomas Ardill, ‘Gylen Castle, Kerrera and the Firth of Lorn from the North 1831 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, February 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-gylen-castle-kerrera-and-the-firth-of-lorn-from-the-north-r1135246, accessed 05 December 2021.