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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Inveraray Pier c.1801

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Inveraray Pier c.1801
Turner Bequest LX B
Pencil and watercolour on white wove paper, 348 x 488 mm
Inscribed by Turner in brown ink ‘31’ bottom left
Stamped in black ‘LX – B’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
This is the basis for the 1811 Liber Studiorum engraving Inverary Pier (Tate impressions: A00980, A00981), which was used in its turn for the late and perhaps unfinished oil painting in the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven.1 Gillian Forrester, following Eric Shanes,2 says that this is not a view on Loch Fyne but on Loch Shira. Inveraray stands on the north shore of Loch Fyne at the point where Glen Shira debouches into Loch Fyne in the form of a bay, known as Loch Shira; the ‘apparent precision’, as she notes,3 of Turner’s title is hardly contradicted by this topographical detail.
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984, p.304 no.519, pl.521 (colour).
See Eric Shanes, ‘The True Subject of a Major Late Painting by J.M.W. Turner Identified’, Burlington Magazine, vol.126, May 1984, pp.284–8.
See Gillian Forrester, Turner’s ‘Drawing Book’: The Liber Studiorum, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London 1996, p.94 under no.35.
Technical notes:
Except at the edges, the sheet is severely faded. Finberg notes that it was withdrawn from the Fourth Loan Collection in September 1905 (whether before or after being shown at Wolverhampton is unclear), ‘when removal of the mount showed that the indigo in the exposed parts of the drawing had faded.’1
Finberg 1909, I, p.161.
Blank; Finberg records an inscription in pencil ‘J. T. (or T.T. or S.S.) Nov 24, 1802’ at the top left corner.1

Andrew Wilton
May 2013


How to cite

Andrew Wilton, ‘Inveraray Pier c.1801 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, May 2013, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, April 2016, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-inveraray-pier-r1179837, accessed 22 January 2021.