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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Inscription by Turner: A List of Sites in Scotland, Relating to Scott's 'Provincial Antiquities' c.1818

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 2 Verso:
Inscription by Turner: A List of Sites in Scotland, Relating to Scott’s ‘Provincial Antiquities’ c.1818
D12127
Turner Bequest CLIV a 2a
Pencil on white wove paper, 112 x 89 mm
Inscribed by Turner in pencil (see main catalogue entry)
 
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
With the page turned vertically, Turner has inscribed the following list in pencil in two columns:
Edinburgh         1     <...>umbl<...>ne 2   3  
Haddington        2     Holy Rood 9  
Tantallon         3     Tolbooth 10  
Dunbar            4     Castle 11  
Fast castle       5     Chriton Castle 12  
Rosslyn           5     Craigmillar    13  
ditto Chapel      6  
Borthwick         +7  
Linlithgow        8  
Jedburg  
Kelso  
Melrose  
Dryburgh  
Bothwell  
Abby Glasgow  
Dunglass Castle  
Dumbarton  
Stirling  
Doune Castle  
Cambuskenneth  
Inchcomkill  
Dunfermline  
Finberg read the word at the head of the second column as ‘Dumblaine’ but there are losses to the edge of the page at that point affecting several letters, as discussed in the Technical notes below. Nevertheless, Turner clearly intended the place name Dunblane, or an approximation of it. Although the left-hand column extends to the full height of the page, and the handwriting appears at first sight to be consistent with the list being composed at one sitting, it seems likely that the numbered entries in both columns were set down first, with the unnumbered entries added soon, perhaps even immediately, afterwards, as they are slightly inset in relation to the numbered ones.
Finberg made no attempt to analyse the significance of the list. The place names are all Scottish, and several relate to Walter Scott’s Provincial Antiquities and Picturesque Scenery of Scotland, with which Turner became involved towards the end of 1818.1 The cross beside ‘Borthwick’ appears to have been added later, perhaps as an indication that the subject had been commissioned or completed. There follows a brief checklist of the sketchbooks used at each site, and subsequent watercolours and engravings for Provincial Antiquities and other Scott works:
‘Edinburgh 1’, ‘Holy Rood 9’, ‘Tolbooth 10’, ‘Castle 11’ (the first two definitely and last two presumably Edinburgh subjects): see Helmsley sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest LIII), Edinburgh sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest LV), Bass Rock and Edinburgh sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest CLXV), Edinburgh, 1818 sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest CLXVI), Scotch Antiquities sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest CLXVII) King’s Visit to Edinburgh sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest CC), Abbotsford sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest CCLXVII), Edinburgh sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest CCLXVIII), Stirling and Edinburgh sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest CCLXIX); see also the watercolour designs for vignette frontispieces: Tate D13748, D13749 (Turner Bequest CLXVIII A, B)
‘Haddington 2’: Haddington Abbey, East Lothian: unfinished watercolour of about 1794 after Thomas Hearne (Ashmolean Museum, Oxford);2 no direct sketches identified; subject not included among the Provincial Antiquities plates3
‘Tantallon 3’: Tantallon Castle, East Lothian: see Dunbar sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest LIV), Scotch Antiquities sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest CLXVII), King’s Visit to Edinburgh sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest CC); watercolour, 1821 (Manchester Art Gallery),4 engraved for part VI of Provincial Antiquities; see also John Thomson’s view in part VIII5
‘Dunbar 4’: town and castle, East Lothian: see Dunbar sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest LIV), Bass Rock and Edinburgh sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest CLXV), Edinburgh, 1818 sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest CLXVI), Scotch Antiquities sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest CLXVII), Abbotsford sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest CCLXVII); watercolour, c.1823 (private collection),6 engraved for part IX of Provincial Antiquities 1824; see also John Alexander Schetky’s view in part VIII7
‘Fast castle 5’: Fast Castle, Berwickshire: see Dunbar sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest LIV), Bass Rock and Edinburgh sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest CLXV), King’s Visit to Edinburgh sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest CC), Berwick sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest CCLXV); no Turner design for Provincial Antiquities, but see John Thomson’s view, published in part X8
‘Rosslyn 5’: Roslin Castle, Midlothian: see Dunbar sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest LIV), Edinburgh sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest LV), Bass Rock and Edinburgh sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest CLXV), Edinburgh, 1818 sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest CLXVI), Scotch Antiquities sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest CLXVII); watercolour, c.1820 (Indianapolis Museum of Art),9 engraved for part VII of Provincial Antiquities 1822; see also John Thomson’s view in part VI10
‘ditto Chapel 6’: Roslin Chapel, Midlothian: see Dunbar sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest LIV), Edinburgh sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest LV); no Turner design for Provincial Antiquities, but see Edward Blore’s views in parts V, IX and X11
‘Borthwick + 7’: Borthwick Castle, Midlothian: see Edinburgh, 1818 sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest CLXVI), Scotch Antiquities sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest CLXVII); Scotland and London sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest CLXX); watercolour, c.1818 (Indianapolis Museum of Art),12 engraved for part I of Provincial Antiquities 1819; see also Edward Blore’s plate of a monument in Borthwick church, published in the same part, and Hugh William Williams’s view in part II13
‘Linlithgow 8’: Linlithgow Palace, West Lothian: see Scotch Lakes sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest LVI) and sketches in the Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, Massachusetts and the Indianapolis Museum of Art; watercolour, 1801 (National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne),14 Edinburgh, 1818 sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest CLXVI); Scotch Antiquities sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest CLXVII); watercolour, 1821 (Manchester Art Gallery),15 engraved for part VI of Provincial Antiquities 1822; see also Edward Blore’s Court of Linlithgow Palace, published in the same part16
‘<...>umbl<...>ne 2 3’: Dunblane Abbey/Cathedral, Stirling: Scotch Lakes sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest LVI) and drawings in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford and the Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, Massachussets; watercolour, c.1806–7 (Tate D08157; Turner Bequest CXVIII C), engraved for the Liber Studiorum 1816; subject not included among the Provincial Antiquities plates17
‘Holy Rood 9 | Tolbooth 10 | Castle 11’: all Edinburgh subjects – see notes under the first entry above
‘Chriton Castle 12’: Crichton Castle, Midlothian: see Edinburgh, 1818 sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest CLXVI), Scotch Antiquities sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest CLXVII); Scotland and London sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest CLXX), and colour study (Yale Center for British Art, New Haven);18 watercolour, c.1818 (Morgan Library & Museum, New York),19 engraved for part II of Provincial Antiquities 1819; see also John Thomson’s view and Edward Blore’s views of the castle courtyard and Crichton church, published in part I20
‘Craigmillar 13’: Craigmillar Castle, East Lothian: see Helmsley sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest LIII), Scotch Antiquities sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest CLXVII), King’s Visit to Edinburgh sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest CC), Abbotsford sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest CCLXVII); no Turner design for Provincial Antiquities, but see John Thomson’s views, published in parts IV and X;21 watercolour, c.1833 (untraced), engraved for Tales of a Grandfather, vol.XXIII of Scott’s Prose Works (Edinburgh 1836)22
None of the sites listed in the unnumbered entries were depicted by Turner (or other artists) for the Provincial Antiquities.23 Several appear in the 1830s editions of Scott’s works, along with many others, so the listing of some of the same subjects here is likely to be fortuitous:
‘Jedburg’: Jedburgh Abbey, Scottish Borders: see North of England sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest XXXIV), Berwick sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest CCLXV), Abbotsford sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest CCLXVII); watercolour, c.1832 (Tate Museum of Art, Cincinnati), engraved for Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, vol.II of Scott’s Poetical Works (Edinburgh 1834)24
‘Kelso’: Scottish Borders: see North of England sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest XXXIV), Abbotsford sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest CCLXVII); watercolour c.1832 (untraced), engraved for Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, vol.III of Scott’s Poetical Works (Edinburgh 1834)25
‘Melrose’: Scottish Borders: North of England sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest XXXIV), Tweed and Lakes sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest XXXV), Abbotsford sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest CCLXVII), Edinburgh sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest CCLXVIII); watercolour, c.1832 (National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh), engraved for The Lay of the Last Minstrel, vol.VI of Scott’s Poetical Works (Edinburgh 1834);26 see also Melrose Abbey, a watercolour of about 1822 made for Walter Fawkes (Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown)27
‘Dryburgh’: Dryburgh Abbey, Scottish Borders: see North of England sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest XXXIV), Abbotsford sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest CCLXVII); watercolour, c.1832 (Tate N05241), engraved for Sir Tristram, vol.V of Scott’s Poetical Works (Edinburgh 1834)28
‘Bothwell’: Bothwell Castle, South Lanarkshire: see Scotch Lakes sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest LVI), Stirling and Edinburgh sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest CCLXIX); no finished works known
Abby Glasgow’: see Scotch Lakes sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest LVI), Stirling and Edinburgh sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest CCLXIX); no finished works known
‘Dunglass Castle’: West Dunbartonshire: see Scotch Lakes sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest LVI); no finished works known
‘Dumbarton’: West Dunbartonshire: see Scotch Lakes sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest LVI), Stirling and the West sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest CCLXX); watercolour, c.1833 (untraced), engraved for Biographical Memoirs, vol.III of Scott’s Prose Works (Edinburgh 1834)29
‘Stirling’: see Scotch Lakes sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest LVI), contemporary drawings in the Ruskin Library, University of Lancaster and the Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Stirling and Edinburgh sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest CCLXIX), Stirling and the West sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest CCLXX); engraved for Tales of a Grandfather, vol.XXIII of Scott’s Prose Works (Edinburgh 1836)30
‘Doune Castle’: in the Stirling council area: see Scotch Lakes sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest LVI); no finished works known
‘Cambuskenneth’: abbey near Stirling: Scotch Lakes sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest LVI); no finished works known
‘Inchcomkill’: Inchcolm Abbey, on an island in the Firth of Forth: no identified sketches or finished works known
‘Dunfermline’: Dunfermline Abbey, Fife: no identified sketches; watercolour, c.1833 (private collection), engraved for Tales of a Grandfather, vol.XXII of Scott’s Prose Works (Edinburgh 1836)31
1
See Katrina Thomson, Turner and Sir Walter Scott: The Provincial Antiquities and Picturesque Scenery of Scotland, exhibition catalogue, National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh 1999.
2
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.309 no.73, reproduced.
3
See checklist in Thomson 1999, pp.106–8.
4
Wilton 1979, p.426 no.1067.
5
See Thomson 1999, p.108.
6
Wilton 1979, p.426 no.1066.
7
See Thomson 1999, p.108.
8
Ibid.
9
Wilton 1979, p.426 no.1065, reproduced.
10
See Thomson 1999, p.107.
11
Ibid., pp.107, 108.
12
Wilton 1979, pp.425–6 no.1060, reproduced.
13
See Thomson 1999, p.106.
14
Wilton 1979, p.336 no.321, reproduced.
15
Ibid., p.426 no.1068.
16
See Thomson 1999, p.107.
17
Ibid., pp.106–8.
18
Wilton 1979, p.435 no.1143, reproduced.
19
Ibid., p.425 no.1059, reproduced.
20
See Thomson 1999, p.106.
21
Ibid., pp.107, 108.
22
Wilton 1979, p.433 no.1123.
23
See Thomson 1999, pp.106–8.
24
Wilton 1979, p.427 no.1072, reproduced.
25
Ibid., p.427 no.1074, reproduced.
26
Ibid., p.428 no.1080, reproduced pl.207.
27
Ibid., p.425 no.1056.
28
Ibid., p.428 no.1078, reproduced.
29
Ibid., p.430 no.1095, reproduced.
30
Ibid., p.433 no.1122.
31
Ibid., no.1121, reproduced.
Technical notes:
The central portion of the top (outer) edge has irregular losses, presumably caused by rubbing against the clasp of the original cover (see the Introduction to the sketchbook), similarly affecting the leaves from folio 1 (D12124, D12125) as far as folio 6 (the recto of which is D12132). There is a pale brown stain radiating from the centre of the top edge, again apparently caused by proximity to the original clasp.

Matthew Imms
September 2013

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘Inscription by Turner: A List of Sites in Scotland, Relating to Scott’s ‘Provincial Antiquities’ c.1818 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, September 2013, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, September 2014, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-inscription-by-turner-a-list-of-sites-in-scotland-relating-r1147543, accessed 28 November 2021.