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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Landscape, with Pentland Hills in Distance 1818

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 90 Verso:
Landscape, with Pentland Hills in Distance 1818
Turner Bequest CLXVII 82a
Pencil on white wove paper, 112 x 186 mm
Inscribed in pencil by Turner ‘Pentland Hills’
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Over the final page of the sketchbook and continuing onto the inside back cover (D40916) is a faint panoramic sketch of a landscape with a cottage in the foreground, fields beyond and the ‘Pentland Hills’ in the distance. Victor Partridge, a Countryside Ranger for the Pentland Hills Regional Park, has identified the hills as, from left to right on the present page: Carnethy, Turnhouse and Harbour, and on the inside back cover of the sketchbook: Carnethy, Allermuir and Caerketton.1 A photograph he has taken of the range from Hirendean Castle in the Moorfoot Hills matches Turner’s view closely, and Gladhouse Cottage and Reservoir in the foreground of the photograph also resemble the cottage and area of water to its right in Turner’s sketch.2
Gladhouse is about five miles south-west of Borthwick Castle, but to have included this in his visit to Dalkeith, Borthwick and Crichton would have extended the journey from a twnety-five- to a thirty-five-mile round trip, and there are no other sketches that indicate he travelled any further south of Edinburgh than Borthwick on his sketching tours of Scotland in 1818. It is therefore only possible to say that the sketch shows the view looking west from a position ten or so miles south-east of Edinburgh. At the bottom of the present page is a slight view of hills with an island in the foreground. The outline matches Caerketton Hill and if Turner did travel to Gladhouse then the island could be the one in the reservoir.
There is a pink ink mark towards the bottom of the page, and a green mark on the fore-edge.

Thomas Ardill
April 2008

Victor Patridge, email to the author 20 September 2007.
Victor Patridge, Photograph of the Pentland Hills, Pentland Hills Regional Park website, http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/phrp/, accessed April 2008.

How to cite

Thomas Ardill, ‘Landscape, with Pentland Hills in Distance 1818 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, April 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-landscape-with-pentland-hills-in-distance-r1132294, accessed 19 May 2022.